Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith admits he wants Perth Glory to come out firing in Sunday’s Grand Final as it will push his own side to perform.
Brisbane Roar captain Matthew Smith admits he wants Perth Glory to come out firing in Sunday-s Hyundai A-League Grand Final as it will push his side to perform at their very best.
In the build-up to this weekend-s decider, Glory have tried to push much of the pressure onto their lauded hosts and paint themselves as the underdogs - ignoring the fact that their own form since the turn of the year has been equal to Brisbane-s.
But Smith said the Roar squad are ignoring Glory-s media games and that a fired-up Glory will only bring the best out of the record-breaking Brisbane side.
“Perth deflecting the pressure onto us, we don-t listen too much to what the opposition are saying,” Smith said.
“We want Perth to come at us and give us everything, because that gives us a good test and the opportunity to beat Perth when they-re at their best.
“We want to play against teams at their best so when we beat them, we can say we did it when they were at that best. That way you get a sense of achievement and you get the end result.
“We-re comfortable in our system and our players that we can beat anyone in this league. It doesn-t give us extra ammunition; we just have to focus on ourselves and make sure we-re prepared.”
Despite having a heavy historical advantage of Glory, Roar are well aware of how their opponents can hurt them and Smtih points to the dramatic draw at nib Stadium as a lesson for Brisbane.
“The 3-3 draw was a big wake-up call for us. [All our games] have been fiery; they-ve got some very experienced players, who can play different styles and certainly can hurt you.
"Obviously Smeltz and Miller, and Jacob Burns who controls things in midfield for them. Every single one of their players will be out to beat us and mix it up to really damage us.”
Regardless of Perth tactics, the weight of expectation remains on Brisbane, with many believing they will become the first side to win back-to-back grand finals.
Smith admitted that pressure is part of the grand final experience but that it could be a deciding factor between the two sides on Sunday afternoon.
“There is added pressure going into a final, whatever level you play at,” Smith said.
“There-s always that anticipation and build up, and at certain times during the week you-ll be training or at home with your family, you-ll think about it.
“I do get a bit nervous going into the game - but as soon as you go into the changing room, and the warm-up and the match starts, you forget all that pressure and the people watching. All you focus on is doing your job.
"I think that-ll be key in this game - which team can handle the pressure and which team can implement their game plan best.
“We do feel the expectation but it doesn-t matter to us. We don-t set targets at the start of the year, we don-t set those benchmarks because by doing that you can limit yourself and what you can achieve.”