Postecoglou: Stakes high in derby clash

Brisbane Roar's derby clash with Gold Coast United at Suncorp Stadium has all the makings of a Boxing Day thriller.

Brisbane Roar's derby clash with Gold Coast United at Suncorp Stadium has all the makings of a Boxing Day thriller.

Brisbane hold a comfortable lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder, riding a streak of 17-games undefeated, but the coach assures motivation levels are peaking.

The Roar, who are yet to lose at home in 2010-11, are expecting their biggest turnout of the season, and coach Ange Postecoglou wants to make sure the crowd is rewarded with a first ever win over Gold Coast United.

"Both clubs want to make it a big fixture, for sure. Yeah, there's only three points on offer, but for our supporters and Gold Coast supporters it means a lot more. And for the two clubs I think it means (more)," Postecoglou said.

"You'd like to think with this fixture we both get our biggest crowd of the year. We need to build on that and you only do that by having some rivalry there."

"That's one that we had pencilled in early in the year, particularly the one at home, and it's one that we're looking forward to," he said.

Aside from the atmosphere and sense of occasion attached to the contest, Brisbane will be looking at the match as a finals preview, with both teams expecting to feature in March.

"Apart from the rivalry, they're a team that's going to be playing finals football. They're almost guaranteed a top four spot."

"We're all jockeying those positions in top four, but there's no doubt that come the business end they'll be there. It's a good measure for us and we're certainly looking at it as a good measure," Postecoglou said.

When the sides met earlier this season in the first round of competition, Bleiberg was left with a strong impression, and the Roar's dominant season seems to have only heightened his respect.

"After the first game that we drew with them nil-all, we were in the dressing sheds and I said to the players that what they did to us is the way I would like them to play. If we're trying to imitate the Roar, that's my opinion of them," he said.

"They're playing good football, the football that I would like to play, and they deserve to be where they are. I can't be more honest than this."

But while Bleiberg admits his former club is playing the better brand of football, he said United had enough quality on the roster to make it a competitive match.

"At the moment we're not playing the best football as they play. They're playing better football than we are, but I think that we have the personnel to match them," he said.