McKay pumped for opener

Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay is confident the squad can overcome recent history to make the perfect start to the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 against Gold Coast United at Skilled Park.

Brisbane Roar captain Matt McKay is confident the squad can overcome recent history to make the perfect start to the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 against Gold Coast United at Skilled Park.

Heading into the first M1 Derby, Brisbane has been slapped with the tag of underdogs after being beaten by United on each of the three times the sides met last season.

But with a new season comes renewed optimism and after Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou-s off-season revamp, confidence is sky high at the Roar-s Ballymore training centre.

“(Playing against United) is an excellent way to start the season,” McKay said.

“It is a big rivalry ... and it is three big fixtures we-ve already pencilled in.

“Obviously we-ll be underdogs in this game ... as we didn-t beat them at all last season.

“But it-s a big opportunity to prove ourselves.

“We will be ready, we-ve done all the preparation right and everyone is at the peak of their fitness.”

The self-belief emanating from the Brisbane squad can be contributed to the thorough and technical pre-season implemented by the club-s coaching staff.

Losing only twice during the pre-season program, the refreshed squad has perfected new combinations and systems.

McKay said this year-s pre-season - including a competitive 2-1 loss to English Premier League heavyweight Everton Football Club - was a breath of fresh air around the squad.

“It was definitely a different pre-season from the past ... different manager, different regimes,” he said.

“There was a lot of ball work which the boys appreciated.

“There was a lot more time spent on the park which we needed because we had 13 new signings and it-s all about those combinations and formations.

“We were the only team in the A-League to score against Everton which was a good achievement.

“The style of play that we used in that game is evident of how we will play this year ... nice movement both on and off the ball.

“So everything has gelled quite well and the proof will be when we have that game against Gold Coast.”

With the Hyundai A-League extended to a 30 game season, McKay is well aware the squad needs to hold a steady course throughout the campaign.

However, the dynamic midfielder was adamant the club needed to get off on the right foot with a victory against its arch rival.

“It-s very important to be consistent throughout the season and we-ll be looking at that,” McKay said.

“But we need the three points (against United) to start positively.” Follow Brisbane Roar on Twitter

Follow Brisbane Roar on Facebook