Brisbane boss John Aloisi believes the vast expanses of the Suncorp Stadium pitch will see his side run Melbourne Victory ragged in Friday night’s blockbuster Hyundai A-League Elimination Final.
Speaking before training on Thursday, Aloisi admitted he was surprised Victory star Besart Berisha is now free to line-up against his side after his two-game ban for violent conduct was reduced on appeal this week.
But even with the fiery Albanian – who has won three Hyundai A-League championships – in the Victory side, Aloisi is confident it’s his big-game players that will stand up in the white-hot furnace of finals football.
“We’ve got players that have played in grand finals, won grand finals and that have played in big games and at World Cups,” Aloisi told reporters.
“We’ve got a team that knows how to handle the pressure and we’ve got a team that especially knows how to run the opposition ragged at Suncorp, because it’s a bigger pitch.
“The opposition don’t like that and we play it to our advantage. It doesn’t matter who they have in their side, our players are ready.
“We’re going into the finals in really good form. Our fitness levels are high and we know we can run-over teams,” the Roar boss vowed.
“We’re creating a lot of chances which is a positive and we’ve got players that can score goals. Jamie Maclaren is one of them who is a proven goal-scorer.
"It helps when you know you are going to score goals.”
While Victory denied Roar the Premiership last weekend with their 0-0 draw at AAMI Park, Aloisi feels that result will have no bearing on the outcome of Friday night’s clash.
Roar boasts the best home record of any team in the Hyundai A-League and crushed Victory 5-0 at Suncorp just over a month ago.
Maclaren – with his 18 goals for the season – is sure to be a key player for the home side but Aloisi says it’s another of his new recruits who could be pivotal to their chances.
“[Corona] is going to be massive. He hasn’t played in a Finals Series’ before but he would have played in promotion games, relegation battles and I can tell you the pressure in those games is immense,” Aloisi said.
“He’ll know what to expect, he’ll know how to handle the pressure and I can see he’s really switched on.
“You can see when we’re playing possession games how switched on he is and he’s one player we like to play through because he creates a lot of our play. He’s going to be really important tomorrow night.”
Asked about Berisha’s availability and what impact he could have on the outcome, Aloisi said: “I’m surprised that he got off but then we just focus on what we have to do.
“We prepare the same way whether he plays or doesn’t play. We know what to expect from them, we know how they play, we know how he plays.
"We’re confident whoever we play, whether it’s Victory or whoever else, especially at home because we’re so strong at home.”