by Michelle Tobin
Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou has heaped praise on the “never-say-die” attitude of his squad after the weekend’s 2-0 win in the first leg of the Hyundai A-League major semi final.
The result gave the side a solid advantage ahead of this Saturday’s return leg at Suncorp Stadium.
Throughout their record-breaking run this season, the Roar side have demonstrated on numerous occasions their ability to overcome any challenge presented to them and the Brisbane boss was pleased that Saturday night’s display was no different.
Postecoglou has maintained throughout the year that strong performances on the park would earn his side deserved results and Brisbane’s perseverance against the Mariners produced the goods in the second half with young striker Kosta Barbarouses and skipper Matt McKay finding the back of the net.
Taking into consideration the different dynamic of finals football, he knew his side had done enough to give themselves a confidence boost for their match-up against the same opposition in the return leg.
“We’d much rather be in our position than theirs,” Postecoglou said.
“You go away from home, expect a tough game and it was a tough game but we did the things we needed to do in finals well.
“We were desperate when we needed to be, we had to defend desperately on a number of occasions and we had the composure in the front third which you also need in finals games.
“The beauty about finals, it’s taken on another sort of dimension for us.”
While it would take a massive reverse in form for Brisbane to miss out on hosting the decider in two weeks time, Postecoglou made it clear that his squad were not getting ahead of themselves despite their impressive home record, which has seen them unbeaten since January last year.
He predicted an all-out approach from Graham Arnold’s team in the return leg but was confident his team would keep their focus on the task at hand with high hopes of turning the eye-catching prospect of a first ever Hyundai A-League grand final at Suncorp Stadium into reality.
“It is only half-time as I said to the boys and we’ll go into next week’s game with the attitude that it’s 0-0 and not worry too much about the 2-0,” he said.
“We know that being at home next week in front of a big crowd we want to win, that’s the most important thing.
“I think now Central Coast know they have to come here and score at least twice, they got to beat us and both those things haven’t happened to often at Suncorp this year.
“We’re pretty comfortable with where we are at.”