Besart Berisha.
Besart Berisha. Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Focus not only on Berisha for North

BRISBANE Roar defender Jade North says he believes an honest and up-front opposed training session was just what his teammates needed in order to contain Besart Berisha and the Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium tomorrow night.

Coach Mike Mulvey was ruthless in his feedback towards his players during a hot and humid session, which went into overtime yesterday.

Despite a 4-0 last-start victory over Newcastle, Mulvey still appeared to carry concerns from the Roar's start to the season when it lost its opening four games.

"He (Mulvey) throws it out every now and then. Coming off a good result we've got to be grounded," North (pictured) said.

Berisha, the team's former star striker, had his name brought up during the physical session by Mulvey, with North and his fellow defenders receiving plenty of directions from the boss.

"After playing with him (Berisha) we know his weaknesses and we know his strengths. That's probably the bonus now we're playing against him," North said.

"You've just got to monitor him and make sure he doesn't get through you.

"It's just not Bes, you've got other players that attack as well. You've got Archie Thompson and the wingers."

North said he was expecting key midfielder Matt McKay to not only back up from Tuesday night's 2-1 away loss to Japan from Socceroos duty, but to come back and fire for the Roar.

"I'm glad that he was taken off (in the second half) because he's going to be good for us when he comes back," North said.

"Matty loves playing these games coming back from international duty.

"He's the heart and soul of our team, and he gives us a lot of energy.

"It'll be great to have him back, and he's a great leader for us too."

North said despite Mulvey's at-times blunt feedback at training, with youngsters Daniel Bowles and Brandon Borrello coming in for special attention, the players were responding positively to his demands.

"I think the young boys are coming on really well. We lost a few players last year so we need some new boys to come in and fill their shoes," North said.

"They're doing a great job at the moment, and we've just got to keep asking more from them."


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