Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith admits the biggest challenge ahead of Sunday’s Hyundai A-League Grand Final against Perth Glory is the mental, not the physical, battle.
Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith admits the biggest challenge ahead of Sunday-s Hyundai A-League Grand Final against Perth Glory is the mental, not the physical, battle.
The Roar-s preparation for the competition decider endured a unique interruption last night with the club playing their fourth fixture in the AFC Champions League, hosting South Korean side Ulsan Hyundai.
After a nine-day playing hiatus, Brisbane came unstuck against a solid Ulsan outfit with Shane Stefanutto-s first goal in Roar colours not enough to save the club from a 2-1 loss.
It was a tough defeat to stomach for the current Hyundai A-League champions ahead, who now need to win their final two AFC Champions League matches, but Smith said this weekend-s Grand Final required no extra motivation to bounce back.
“I think first and foremost, it-s a Grand Final,” he said.
“Regardless of what happens in pretence, as soon as you step past the white line on Grand Final day, everything else tends to go amiss.
“For us, it-s about making sure we are mentally prepared.
“I-m sure the boys are still thinking about last night but on the same taken, we-re switching focus now to the Grand Final.”
The short break between the two matches will also prove vital, according to Smith who will captain the side looking to be the first in Hyundai A-League history to win two championships in a row.
“We-ve got five days to get things right,” he said.
“We-ve got a day off tomorrow, training on Friday and Saturday and game on Sunday.
“I can-t see any of that being an issue for our players.”
All players recovered well from yesterday-s match with no injuries ahead of the all-important match-up with the Glory on Sunday afternoon.