Roar braced for ‘finals’ feel to Wanderland

They may have wrapped up the Premiership with three games to spare but Brisbane’s Jade North believes the finals have started two weeks early for Roar.

They may have wrapped up the Premiership with three games to spare and booked a blockbuster home final on April 27, but Brisbane-s Jade North believes the finals have started two weeks early for Roar.

Mike Mulvey's troops have the luxury of knowing they are already through to week two of the Hyundai A-League finals but aren't expecting an easy ride over the next fortnight.

Roar face Western Sydney (away) this weekend at an expected packed out Wanderland before a home clash against defending champions Central Coast in round 27 to complete the regular season.

Both Wanderers and Mariners are fighting to finish in the all-important second spot, meaning there will be no 'dead-rubbers' for the Roar before the finals.

"Obviously it still hasn't been determined who finishes where so we know both those side's will be going all out against us," Roar defender North told www.footballaustralia.com.au.

"It's perfect for us because they'll be throwing everything at us because they'll be wanting to finish as high as possible.

"It's just what we need before the finals start. The boys are very focused about each game and making sure we win and keep building the momentum for the finals.

"We don't care who we play, we just have to worry about what we do and our performance and if we stick to that we'll have a good chance to win the championship."

North said the Roar were bracing for a fired-up Wanderers and expects them to be at the top of their game despite their inconsistent results of late and a midweek ACL trip to Japan.

He rates Tony Popovic's side as a serious contender for the title and the two teams played out an entertaining 1-1 draw when they last met at Pirtek Stadium in February.

"They always seem to rise against us," North said of the Wanderers.

"We know what they've done last year to this year, Poppa's got them well-drilled and they are a very disciplined team.

"They are going to be tough, they need a result and they perform very well at home as well.

"We have to be aware of that but like I said we shouldn-t worry about them we just need to worry about ourselves."

North, who joined the Roar midway through last season, admits it's been a treat to play alongside the wealth of talent in the Brisbane squad.

But he acknowledged the influence of Mulvey for being able to mould the side into his style and return them to the top of the Hyundai A-League.

"He's (Mulvey) turned things around for us and he's got a lot of our personalities together," North said.

"There's a lot of things you have to juggle in a football team and he's done a great job and you have to give credit to him because we're flying high at the moment.

"That's where we want to be and he's really driven us forward this season. He gives us a lot of confidence, lets us express ourselves and we always try and find a way to win."

The Socceroos defender is confident he is now over the hamstring problems that saw him miss two matches before his successful return against Melbourne Heart last Friday.

Brisbane Roar are on the road to Western Sydney this weekend and will host Central Coast Mariners in their final match of the regular season. Click here to purchase tickets.

Use the hash-tag #WSWvBRI to follow and comment on the match on Twitter.

The Premiers Plate winners will play their semi-final at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday 27 April, 2014 with tickets on sale to members from 8 April. Click here for more information.