Roar look to get back on horse in Dunedin

Fond memories will count for little when Brisbane Roar takes to the field against Wellington Phoenix at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin according to Head Coach Ange Postecoglou.

Fond memories will count for little when Brisbane Roar takes to the field against Wellington Phoenix at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin according to Head Coach Ange Postecoglou.

Brisbane were invited to take part in the new stadium-s inaugural match in August, against Wellington, and walked away with a comprehensive 5-1 pre-season win in cool conditions.

Times, and squads, have changed since August and both Postecoglou and defender Shane Stefanutto believe a tough battle lies ahead when the two teams clash again on Wednesday at the same venue.

“Wellington have hit some form and really the pre-season game was just preparation for both teams so you can-t read much into that,” Postecoglou said. “They had a ridiculous amount of injuries at the start of the year.

“They-re starting to get some of their better players back and they-re going to be strong, particularly at home.

“I know this is not in Wellington but I-m sure they-ll have a parochial crowd behind them.”

While expecting the opposition to provide another tough test, Postecoglou-s main focus this week has been on his own squad.

An early arrival in Dunedin has allowed his squad to familiarise with the local conditions, with Postecoglou putting the players through two lively sessions.

Having recorded two losses from the past two outings, the Brisbane Roar mentor is looking to an improved performance against the Phoenix.

“It-s important results-wise we don-t lose too many in a row,” he said.

“We got a good start to the season, we-re in good shape in the league and you want to maintain that.

“The performance last week in the second half was better and that-s the most important thing, we-ve got to play well.

“If we play the kind of football we can, we-ll give it a shake.”

Stefanutto will take the captain-s armband with club captain Matt Smith ruled out with an adductor injury. Smith remained in Brisbane along with four other Roar players also nursing injuries, however Stefanutto said he was confident his club-s depth would come to the fore for the fixture.

“One of our strengths has been when guys have come in they-ve done a job for us,” Stefanutto said.

“You-re going to get injuries throughout the season and luckily we-ve got a really strong squad.

“We-ve got two really good players in each position.

“Though we-d love to have everyone fit unfortunately we don-t and these guys coming into the squad will do a really good job, I-m sure of that.”

Wednesday, 14 December, 2011 Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin Local Kick-off: 7.30pm (5.30pm AEDT / 4.30pm AEST)

Referee: Gerard Parsons

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 13): Wellington Phoenix wins 1, Brisbane Roar wins 8 (4 draws)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Mark Paston (GK), 2. Manny Muscat, 4. Brent Griffiths 6. Tim Brown, 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul Ifill, 9. Chris Greenacre, 11. Daniel, 12. Nicky Ward, 15. Cameron Lindsay, 17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund, 20, Tony Warner (GK), 21. Dani Sanchez, 22. Andrew Durante (C), 24. Alex Smith. *one to be omitted*

In: Cameron Lindsay (promoted), Alex Smith (promoted). Out: Tony Lochhead (groin injury), Mirjan Pavlovic (suspended - 1 match). Unavailable: Lucas Pantelis (knee injury - indefinite), Jimmy Downey (knee injury - 1 to 2 weeks), Tony Lochhead (groin injury 2 to 3 weeks).

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theoklitos (GK), 3. Shane Stefanutto (C), 4. Matt Jurman , 5. Ivan Franjic, 6. Erik Paaratlu, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Kofi Danning, 10. Henrique, 11. Issey Nakajima-Farran, 14. Matt Mundy, 16. Mohamed Adnan, 17. Mitch Nichols, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Andrew Redmayne (GK), 24. Nick Fitzgerald. *one to be omitted*

In: 14. Matt Mundy (promoted), 20. Andrew Redmayne (returns from adductor injury) Out: 2. Matt Smith (adductor injury - 1 week) Unavailable: 21. James Meyer (adductor injury - 1 week), 22. Thomas Broich (bruised heel - 1 week), Henrique (corked thigh - 1 week), Luke Brattan (foot injury - 1 week).