Roar primed for finals

The Brisbane Roar, runaway winners of the Premiers' Plate, have issued a chilling warning to their Hyundai A-League rivals, with coach Ange Postecoglou and midfielder Erik Paartalu both adamant the club is primed to hit new highs.

The Brisbane Roar, runaway winners of the Premiers' Plate, have issued a chilling warning to their Hyundai A-League rivals, with coach Ange Postecoglou and midfielder Erik Paartalu both adamant the club is primed to hit new highs.

With only one loss for the season, critics and opponents have floated the possibility that the Roar have peaked too early, but according to the league-leaders, circumstances are aligning for a perfectly timed surge at the business end of the season.

The Roar will be without integral cogs Massimo Murdocca and Jean Carlos Solorzano for one more week, and rookie sensation James Meyer has been ruled out for the season, but on Saturday night the fast-passing premiers return to the smooth Suncorp surface, and confidence is running high.

Having played their last three games on a 'patchy' pitch at Skilled Park, the Roar, who lead the league in completed passes, by a considerable margin, are positively salivating at the prospect of showcasing their 'A' game at home.

Speaking with media after a sharp training session at Ballymore, in which Brisbane's peerless team cohesion was on full display, defensive midfielder Paartalu had no hesitation predicting an elevated performance in Saturday night's M1 derby.

"We haven't been at Suncorp for a while, and it's a big game against Gold Coast, so we'll be fired up," said Paartalu.

"It'll be good to get the ball and get back to our passing game, which I think we've missed at Skilled."

"Hopefully we start playing our best football now, and being back at Suncorp is a massive boost for us."

"I think we can still improve - definitely from our last couple of games at Skilled Park. We've got another gear in us."

Furthering Brisbane's assurance in their ability to lift standards has been the return of Asian Cup Socceroos stand-out Matt McKay and the continued improvement of game-changing attacker Henrique, who missed a large portion of the season through injury.

Always full of belief in his playing group, Postecoglou wholeheartedly agreed with Paartalu's assessment of the Roar's current form and potential to take their game to new heights.

"The whole idea for us was for everything to come together at the end of the year," he said.

"Being back at Suncorp now and with Matt McKay and Henrique back, I really think we've got an opportunity now to take it up a gear and play our best football in these last four or five games - that's the plan and I think the players have been waiting for this opportunity."