Zane’s game-plan: how to beat Brisbane

Newcastle coach Clayton Zane has shared the Jets' blueprint that Western Sydney could use to bring down Brisbane in Sunday’s Hyundai A-League grand final.

Current Newcastle coach Clayton Zane has shared the Jets' blueprint that Western Sydney could use to bring down Brisbane in Sunday-s blockbuster Hyundai A-League grand final.

Roar is warm favourites to land their third championship on Sunday but if anyone knows the secret stopping their juggernaut it's Zane and the Jets.

Despite missing the finals this season, the Hunter club enjoyed extraordinary success against Brisbane, beating the runaway premiers on all three occasions.

While two of those victories were under ex-boss Gary van Egmond, the Jets' game plan was largely similar throughout.

They restricted the space between the lines, marked Johnny Warren medallist Thomas Broich out of the contest and were happy to try and exploit the Roar with their pace on the counter-attack.

"One of Gary's tactics was to try and get pressure on Broich as much as possible and we got Scott Neville to follow in and track Broich," Zane revealed to www.footballaustralia.com.au.

"We lost our fullback position but we tried to nullify Broich as he's the biggest threat in their team in an attacking sense and it worked very well.

"We also did a similar thing to what Central Coast did a few weeks back, which was sit back and try and compress things and not allow too much space between the lines.

"One of the things in (Roar's) favour is they have strength in wide positions but we had fullbacks who are very good physically in Josh Brillante and Sam Galloway who are very good in one-on-one situations.

"We let them play down one side and set a trap where we got our fullbacks to end up in one-on-one situations with their wingers knowing they would physically able to compete with them and it proved successful."

Zane said Brisbane's attack-at-all-costs style played into his team's hands, with the likes of Emile Heskey, Adam Taggart and Joel Griffiths exploiting the space on the counter.

He believes Western Sydney should - and will - try something similar at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

"I know Popa (Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic) likes his team to play forward early and on transition he wants them to be positive and because Brisbane are so open I think it might play help Western Sydney," Zane said.

"The longer you keep Brisbane at 0-0 I think it's going to play into Western Sydney's hands.

"As long as they don't concede an early goal and choose their moments to press, they can soak up the pressure and I think they have a good chance of upsetting them, even away from home."

While the Jets won all three contests with Brisbane this season, the Wanderers failed to get the better of the premiers.

But Wanderers utility Shannon Cole said that stat meant little to his side before the decider.

"We haven't looked so much at the results but more the performances," said Cole, who has one championship medal to his name with Sydney FC in 2010.

"I think in all the games we did quite well. We need to look at those performances, look at the positives, focus on those and bring them into the game."

Suncorp Stadium hosts “Grand Final Saturday”, a FAN-tastic new part of grand final weekend with Roar and Wanderers stars making a very special appearance for fans to get up close and personal with just 24 hours before the blockbuster Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

Join the conversation using the hash-tag #ALeagueGF

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