Roar wary of underdogs
Queensland Roar will head into Friday night's second leg of the Hyundai A-League Minor Semi-Final as hot favourites to progress to the Preliminary Final, but coach Frank Farina is well aware of the threat a desperate Mariners outfit holds.
Queensland Roar will head into Friday night's second leg of the Hyundai A-League Minor Semi-Final as hot favourites to progress to the Preliminary Final after accounting for Central Coast 2-0 in the opening leg, but coach Frank Farina is well aware of the threat a desperate Mariners outfit holds.
Central Coast's never-say-die attitude was on display when the Roar took the honours in a see-sawing affair they won 4-3 last month and the Mariners have also twice fought back from 3-0 deficits in matches this season to draw 3-3 on both occasions.
The visitors need to score at least three goals to stage a remarkable resurrection against the Roar, who have won six and drawn one of its last eight matches.
But considering Central Coat smashed Queensland 4-2 in the only match at Suncorp Stadium this season and the fact the visitors performed a similar turnaround in form during last season's finals series, and it is easy to see why Farina is cautious.
In the Mariner's Major Semi-Final last season against Newcastle, they trailed 2-0 after the first leg before winning the return fixture 3-0 to progress directly to the Grand Final.
Farina was well aware that the visitors were comeback specialists, but suggested he would not look at changing any tactics.
"We know that from this season, they've come from behind on numerous occasions and that's the sort of team they are, they never give up," Farina said.
"We're just happy that we've got this lead at the moment, we've got to just get through the 90 minutes."
"We go into every game with the same idea and the same style of play, we're not going to change too much, we're going to try and win the game."
Farina will be imploring his chargers to attack and be creative, believing an early goal to be the best treatment possible in the unlikely incidence of complacency.
"We're starting at nil-all tomorrow, that's the mentality we'll go into the game with," he said.
"We're not going to go out and sit back and try and defend a lead, I think that-s fraught with danger."
One man who will be sure to take heed from Farina's words is Dutch striker Sergio van Dijk, who has netted 11 goals in the last 11 matches.
Van Dijk believed his side was completely focused on snaring an early goal to 'break' the Mariners early on.
"We always play attacking football and to switch over for this game would not work out well for us I think," van Dijk said.
"I know it's going to be tough because it's Central Coast, they always put a lot of effort in and never give up."
"I think as soon as we score a goal, we can bring them down."
Farina was unworried by alleged comments coming out of Gosford earlier this week where John Hutchinson was quoted saying his side needed to go back to 'hunting in packs' with up to 'four people kicking one person' to triumph over the Roar at Suncorp Stadium.
"If a team says they are going to come up and kick the proverbial out of us, we don't mind, we'll just play our normal game and I'm sure the referee will handle it accordingly as well," Farina said.
"We're going to go out and try and play good football, we're certainly not going to go out and try and kick people."