Brisbane Roar boss John Aloisi says his side will draw on their “finals mentality” in an effort to save their Hyundai A-League season against Perth Glory on Thursday night.
With just 11 games to go to mount a challenge for the Finals Series, ninth-placed Roar simply must start winning matches.
Aloisi’s troops are currently six points behind sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers, who also have a game in hand.
Having finished third the last two seasons – and just one game short of the Grand Final both times – the prospect of Roar not playing finals football doesn’t sit well with the players or coach.
“We now have 11 finals and [Thursday night] is the first one. Brisbane Roar have usually done well in finals,” Aloisi said.
“They [the players] are desperate to win – they want to win.
“The players are as disappointed as anyone that we haven’t been winning the football games that we should be.”
“They’ll give everything…they’re the ones driving that finals mentality this week.”
Tonight’s opponents Glory are equally as desperate as Roar, coming off four straight defeats and with pressure mounting on coach Kenny Lowe.
In fact, Glory’s last win was way back in Round 12, ironically against the Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
“It’s like a final for them as well. They’re coming here after four losses and there are quite a few players out,” Aloisi said.
“They’re in quite a similar position to the one we’ve been in without so many players out this season.
“It’s an important game for both clubs and I’m sure they’ll be up for it as we will.”
Having endured a horror injury toll for most of the 2017/18 Season, Roar do get some key players back for the Glory clash.
Ex-Caltex Socceroos playmaker Brett Holman is set for his first appearance since Round 8, while Daniel Bowles, Corey Brown, Corey Gameiro and Mitch Oxborrow are all included in the squad.
“He [Holman] was brilliant in training. He looks sharp, hungry and ready to go and that’s only a good sign for us,” Aloisi enthused.