Socceroo Ivan Franjic has a warning for Brisbane's Hyundai A-League rivals, insisting any talk Roar is faltering heading into the finals is premature.
Socceroo Ivan Franjic has a warning for Brisbane's Hyundai A-League rivals, insisting any talk Roar is faltering heading into the finals is a tad premature.
Roar was runaway winner of the Premiers' Plate but head into the finals without a win in their last two matches, including a shock 2-0 home loss to Central Coast on Saturday night in the last round of the league.
It's not the type of form coach Mike Mulvey will have wanted heading into next weekend's sudden-death semi-final but Franjic has played down any concerns.
The Socceroos defender says the squad have already moved on and have been preparing for play-off football for some time.
"We've known for the last six weeks we were going to be in the finals," Franjic told www.footballaustralia.com.au.
"It was obviously a disappointing result [against Mariners] but I thought we played well. If we keep playing like that 90% of the time we'll win the game.
"On our day we're unbeatable. If everyone's firing and on our game, guys like [Besart] Berisha, [Thomas] Broich, Matty McKay, [Liam] Miller, these are great players and can beat any team when they're on-song.
"We're all very relaxed. We'll have a good week of training and be ready to go next Sunday."
Roar will sit back this weekend and watch the two elimination finals before taking on the lowest-ranked winner at Suncorp Stadium on April 27.
With NRL and Super Rugby seasons now in full swing, the Suncorp pitch has been well below its best in recent weeks.
Despite basing their game on slick passing and possession, Franjic isn't concerned the bumpy surface could work against them in the finals.
"It's obviously not ideal for our team but at the end of the day its equal for all teams so there's no excuse there," he said.
"We just need to adapt to it. The most important thing in finals is to get to the result. It doesn't matter how you get it as long as you get it.
"There's a lot of players in our squad that have played in the finals and have experience and I'm sure come next Sunday we'll use it all.
"Hopefully we can get the result and with that a home grand final which is what we set out for at the start of the year."
Franjic has endured a stop-start season, with stomach and ankle injuries restricting the 26-year-old to 19 appearances.
But he has been a key cog in Mulvey's all conquering squad, covering a host of positions including right-back, central midfield and right-wing.
"It's good to have versatility but it can work against you. For every different position you have to adapt differently and its different body shapes and movements," Franjic said.
"It's something that's been a different for me this year but I've enjoyed it. It's definitely a challenge when you're playing different positions but I've handled it as best as I can."
Franjic also believes the enforced time on the sidelines could be a blessing in disguise and he admits he feels fit and fresh heading into the finals - and possibly a World Cup berth with the Socceroos.
"When you're injured you train twice as hard as the boys that are playing to make sure you're always ready to come straight in," Franjic said.
"It's credit to the conditioning staff at the club that I'm ready to go for the finals. It's an exciting time to be playing and if I can play well for the club then hopefully I can get picked (for the World Cup).
"If we can get into the grand final and do well I give myself a chance to get in the squad."
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