The city of Tokyo may have been welcoming to the Brisbane Roar squad on their arrival in Japan but club captain Matt Smith said he’s expecting no favours when he leads his team out against FC Tokyo tonight.
The city of Tokyo may have been welcoming to the Brisbane Roar squad on their arrival in Japan but club captain Matt Smith said he-s expecting no favours when he leads his team out against FC Tokyo tonight.
After already travelling to Beijing, China and Ulsan, South Korea in the current AFC Champions League campaign, Smith said he was enjoying his time in the Japanese capital - where the team have been since Sunday evening - but was anticipating an intimidating atmosphere at the National Stadium tonight.
“I love it here,” he said.
“Just looking out the window now, it-s just an absolutely massive city, I think 30 million people here.
“The people have been very kind to us and the city is very clean and tidy.
“So far so good but obviously when we come up against Tokyo we-re expecting a very hostile crowd.
“I think that-ll work in our favour but either way, it will be a good experience.”
The Roar players have had the luxury of a nine-day break following their dramatic Hyundai A-League Grand Final win over Perth Glory last Sunday and after their recent hectic schedule, Smith said it was strange to have a prolonged break ahead of such a crucial fixture.
“It feels like we should-ve had a few more games before going into this one,” he said.
“We-ve had a busy two months so it-s nice that we-ve had a good amount of time to settle down from the Grand Final win and we-ve got a bit of time to get our bodies right for the game against Tokyo.
“From that perspective, it-s good to get a rest but the boys are itching for a game.”
Brisbane need a win if they want any hope of progressing from the group stages in the competition and with new coach Rado Vidosic in charge, Smith was confident the change would bring no disruptions in the team-s preparation.
“With Rado now stepping up as the gaffer, nothing-s really changed which is fantastic from the point of view of the boys,” he said.
“We-ve travelled the same, all our operational stuff is the same, our analysis and training as been the same so from that point it-s been great.”