Thijssen delighted for hat-trick hero Lustica

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April 03, 2015 11:42:43 UK

Thomas Broich played 45 minutes as Brisbane eased past the Mariners.

Brisbane Roar interim coach Frans Thijssen saw Steven Lustica underline his attacking ability as he netted a hat-trick in the 6-1 win over Central Coast Mariners.

The defending champions went into the game on the back of four straight defeats, prompting Thijssen to go for a more attacking style against the struggling Mariners.

Lustica helped the Roar, who are 51.00 to win the Asian Champions League, turn around their 2012-13 season during his first stint on loan with the club. He took centre stage again at Suncorp Stadium with two superb first-half goals from outside the area.

“If you score three goals as a midfield player then you can be happy,” said Thijssen. “Steve has had maybe a difficult season but he’s good on the ball. He’s a different player than a Matt McKay or Luke Brattan; they are stronger defensively.

“But on the ball he’s an attacking, good player and I’m very happy for him that he got three goals. It gives me an extra choice so that’s positive.”

Lustica also set up a second-half goal for Brandon Borrello as Brisbane kept alive their hopes of playing in the Finals Series.

He may have grabbed the match ball for his hat-trick, but he said after the game the most important thing was that the team performance was an improvement.

“I think we’re still in the race now and hopefully we can push on,” said Lustica. “I think we pressed right from the start, which is what’s been missing the last few weeks; I think we’re back to playing the Brisbane Roar way.”

The Roar are 3.20 to win their next match against Adelaide United, who are 2.00 with the draw 3.50.

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