Brisbane playing for Queensland
With torrential rain and flash flooding wreaking havoc around the state's south-east, acting captain Shane Stefanutto said the Brisbane Roar team would be playing for the people of Queensland when they take on third placed Central Coast Mariners in Gosford tomorrow night.
With torrential rain and flash flooding wreaking havoc around the state-s south-east, acting captain Shane Stefanutto said the Brisbane Roar team would be playing for the people of Queensland when they take on third placed Central Coast Mariners in Gosford tomorrow night.
Brisbane is currently experiencing floods set to rival the infamous disaster of 1974 and while the Roar squad is almost 900km away preparing for their week 23 clash against the Mariners as the rain continues overnight, Stefanutto said the Queensland capital and the surrounding areas were at the forefront of their minds.
“The weather is affecting everyone in Queensland at the moment so we will definitely be dedicating Sunday-s game, and even if we win tomorrow night, to those people affected by the floods,” he said.
“We-ve got a youth player from Toowoomba so we-re all worried about his family. “It puts everything into perspective, there-s more than football in this world and we-re as worried as everyone else.”
With that in mind, the 30-year-old reiterated the importance of Brisbane focusing on the task at hand, telling their faithful supporters to expect an inspired performance against Graham Arnold-s troops after an uncharacteristically average performance against Perth Glory.
“We-re a professional bunch and we-ve been very good at getting the job done and that-s all we focus on at the moment,” Stefanutto said.
“When it-s time to play football, we play football and we try and do it the best we can.
“The boss always goes on about performance and we want to put in a good performance for these people who are affected and ourselves.”
Although 13 points separate Brisbane Roar from their southern counterparts, the Mariners would sit within four points of the current Hyundai A-League leaders if they were to win all three of their games in hand.
With the race for the top two heating up across the league, Stefanutto was sure the added incentive for three points would give the Central Coast extra motivation heading into the clash.
“I think they-ll come out firing, there is no doubting that,” he said.
“I think they-ll probably see our performance against Perth and think there is maybe a weakness there so we definitely want to come out and stamp our authority on the game.
“It-s another crunch game, we-ve had some big game in the last couple of weeks and this is another one.
“It-s a nice challenge for us, coming into finals, tough opposition, a team that will no doubt be confident.”
Brisbane have the luxury of never tasting defeat at Bluetongue Stadium with the meeting between the two sides at the Gosford stadium earlier in the season resulting in an convincing 5-1win by the Roar, including three goals in the opening half hour.
Ahead of their last mid-week fixture for the season, Head Coach Ange Postecoglou warned his side to be cautious of a Mariners outfit in dire need of points if they are to be serious about top two ambitions.
“When you play one of the teams that-s chasing you, it counts for a little bit more,” the Brisbane boss said.
“Particularly after our last result against them at home, they-ll be raring to go.
“We-re in a good position but Central Coast are pushing for a top two spot as well so it-s a big game for them.”
Having equalled the record for longest undefeated streak away from home when they beat Adelaide United last week, Brisbane Roar will be aiming to set a new Hyundai A-League record of 11 games without a loss on the road tomorrow night.