Former Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg.
Former Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg. Contributed

Anderson backing replacement coach

SUNSHINE Coast product and Gold Coast United defender Zac Anderson said he could see the silver lining of the Miron Bleiberg saga and was looking forward to serving under the man he considered his mentor.

Bleiberg was sacked yesterday by the club and replaced by assistant Mike Mulvey after falling out with billionaire owner Clive Palmer.

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Last week Palmer used his weight to install former Maroochydore Swans junior and 17-year-old debutant Mitch Cooper as captain.

Bleiberg described Cooper's appointment as symbolic but Palmer insisted it was a deserved reward for the youngster.

As a result, Bleiberg was suspended for the club's clash with the Melbourne Heart last Friday night, prompting the coach to announce through the media he would quit.

However, United moved first yesterday and announced Bleiberg had been sacked.

Despite the surrounding turmoil, Anderson said he was excited about the prospect of playing under Mulvey, who he has enjoyed close ties with for the past five years.

Anderson, 20, met Mulvey while in the Queensland Academy of Sport and the coach was instrumental in bringing him to the glitter strip.

Anderson also served under Mulvey in the Gold Coast's National Youth League side.

"Mike's a fantastic guy," Anderson told The Daily yesterday.

"I'm extremely excited. Mike is more than a coach for me. He's been like a mentor to me. When I've had problems on and off the pitch, he's been a guy I can go to.

"He's been really influential in my life."

The Gold Coast has in recent weeks been wracked by injuries and suspensions, opening the door for the likes of Anderson.

Anderson has accumulated 10 A-League games in his three-year stint with Gold Coast but has now notched two starts in a row.

The young side acquitted itself well against the Melbourne Heart last Friday night, eventually going down 1-0.

Anderson said he was not being distracted by the off-field troubles and was concentrating on tomorrow night's showdown with the top-of-the-table Central Coast.

"There's opportunities there at the moment with a few injuries," Anderson said.

"I'm concentrating on Wednesday night and I'm going to play as well as I can. There are players who are coming up who want to show they deserve their spot and have a right to be there."

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