Western United coach Mark Rudan has thrown his support behind Besart Berisha as the striker attempts to recapture his A-League goalscoring form.
The most prolific goal scorer in A-League history, Berisha had a pre-season hamstring concern and is yet to find the back of the net after three games.
But the 35-year-old, who hasn’t scored in his past five league games in total, did create a couple of chances in Saturday’s 5-4 win over Perth Glory, leaving Rudan to laud Berisha’s work ethic.
“I thought Bes was fantastic today, in terms of being a team player,” Rudan said.
“He worked so hard for the team, he did things off the ball that Besart’s not normally known for.
“He accepted the challenge of working for the team, understanding what his role was without the ball, and you saw when we did have possession he had a couple of half-chances.
“But he needs to build his fitness and his sharpness.”
Rudan was rapt with the range of goalscorers against Perth, as United’s goals came via a Dylan Pierias brace – the 20-year-old’s first A-League goals – while Victor Sanchez, Tomoki Imai and Steven Lustica also made their mark.
Rudan was confident Berisha would soon join his teammates on the scoresheet.
“People think Besart is this guy that’s somewhat selfish at times. He’s only selfish because he needs to be – and he’s the top marksman in A-League history for a reason,” he said.
“But he’s been today – and the first two games – extremely selfless in the way he performs and for that he needs to be given a huge round of applause.
“His teammates at half-time all gathered around him because Bes is very hard on himself and he knew that he had a couple of half-chances.
“But he did it for the team and that’s all I can ask for.
“If we are to be there or thereabouts, we need people to be selfless for this football club and and he certainly was that.
“I was extremely happy with him – the goals will come, I’ve got no doubt.”