Farina: It's a whole new ball game
One team has motored to the Hyundai A-League finals, the other spluttered to the finish line, but both Queensland and Central Coast insist their respective paths to the playoffs will count for zero when they face off in the first leg of the minor semi-final at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday night.
One team has motored to the A-League finals, the other spluttered to the finish line.
But both Queensland and Central Coast insist their respective paths to the playoffs will count for zero when they face off in the first leg of the minor semi-final at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday night.
Frank Farina's Roar have won their past three matches, including a thrilling 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Mariners, while their rivals limped into the top four after failing to win in their last three outings.
"I don't think form from the season proper is going to be a telling factor in the finals outcome. It's a new ball game now," Farina said at the finals launch on Monday.
"We're pretty high on confidence in terms of the way we've been playing and results we've had and we've got a good record away at the Central Coast, but records are always destined to be broken."
McKinna would rather his side had hit the business end of the season in winning form but accepts things can turn around very quickly.
"We've stumbled across the line. We've lost the last three games to the top three teams but they are three games we could have won," he said.
"I'm not lying awake at night - I don't sleep well during the season anyway - but we've identified the things we're doing wrong."
"If we weren't winning games and couldn't work out why we'd be worried about it, but we've identified the things we are doing wrong."
"Last season I would say the pressure was on us because we were winning but this year it's back to us being the underdogs and that tags sits well for us."
"We go into the game thinking we can win the game and we'll be trying to get a result over the two legs."
"Hopefully the finals will bring the best out of us."
Farina has his side on guard against a Mariners revival.
"They're a good side. We've won one against them, they beat us at home and we've drawn one," he said
"They are big, strong, physical and whoever brings their A game will go through."
McKinna is equally enamoured with the Queenslanders, declaring: "They've got a lot of mobility and a good blend of youth and experience."
"They've also got good leaders on the park. They don't get worried about things.
"If something goes wrong they shrug it off and look to have a go at you again."
The winner of the minor semi-final will play the loser of the Melbourne-Adelaide major semi-final for a spot in the grand final.