Thwaite anticipates big crowd

Gold Coast United vice-captain Michael Thwaite says his side will be looking to draw energy from an expected full house at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they look to overcome Adelaide United in a blockbuster elimination final.

Gold Coast United vice-captain Michael Thwaite says his side will be looking to draw energy from an expected full house at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday afternoon as they look to overcome Adelaide United in a blockbuster elimination final.

Tickets have flown out the door in Adelaide and a near-capacity crowd of around 15,000 are expected for the match between the two sides that scraped through to the next round of the finals, each with nervy but ultimately steeling 1-0 wins in the first week.

Thwaite says even though United rarely get the opportunity to play in front of such vast numbers, his men have proven themselves before in big game situations and are looking forward to the pressure of further knockout football.

"It's definitely exciting. Everyone wants to play in front of a full house and I think there's only a couple of thousands tickets left, I read that in the paper if the paper's true," Thwaite smiled.

"We're looking forward to it and I'm sure everyone in the squad wants to play in front of that pressure. I think everyone's going to be fired up. It's win or lose so we're not going to leave anything in the tank."

"Everyone wants to play in front of big crowds. Unfortunately we haven't had really good crowds this year but we've still performed and that's two years in a row. Away from home we've been really good playing in front of big crowds against us. It spurs us on so we're looking forward to it."

The part-time Socceroo defender also said the side have been refreshed after another seven-day break - a luxury rarely afforded to the Gold Coast of late, who battled through a horror schedule and endless injury list in the lead-up to the finals.

"It makes a big difference. Obviously you saw our performance against Melbourne when we did have the week to recover," Thwaite said.

"Coming off that five games in two weeks, it was a bit of a disaster schedule for us but we got through it."

That schedule included backing up a fruitful trip from Perth with a 3-0 loss at home to Central Coast and a 4-0 thumping from premiers Brisbane Roar just days afterwards, but after conceding so many goals they steadied the ship with last weekend's last-gasp triumph over Melbourne Victory.

Defender Kristian Rees called it a 'mental clean sheet' but Thwaite said Adelaide will benefit from the same thing after their win over the Wellington Phoenix.

"In saying that, Adelaide have kept a clean sheet in that last game as well and you're only as good as your last game so both teams are coming in with some good form," Thwaite said.

"They've got the home advantage so they'll drag their own confidence from that but I think we've just got nothing to lose. We've already made progress from last year and I think that's a big pressure release in itself."

"We've had a couple of good battles with them, two draws and a loss. I think it'll be a tight game. We haven't scored a lot of goals between us in the last few games so I'm sure our strikers will be looking to make amends on that. They've got some really good attacking players and we need to close down their time and space."