Brett Holman (left) and Thomas Broich of the Brisbane Roar.
Brett Holman (left) and Thomas Broich of the Brisbane Roar. DARREN PATEMAN

'What we want is to go all the way'

FOOTBALL: Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi says revenge will not be a factor when his team takes on the Western Sydney Wanderers in the first of the A-League playoffs at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

The Roar lost arguably the greatest finals match in the competition's history to Tony Popovic's team last year.

Brisbane led 3-0 after 22 minutes but eventually lost 5-4 in extra time at Wanderland in the major semi-final.

While Aloisi said that loss was a driving force for the team to do better this time, he said revenge was not the be all and end all.

"That hurt that night because we wanted to go to the grand final, and, you know, it hurt in the off-season, but it just drove us more in pre-season that we want to go to the grand final,” Aloisi said.

"Whether it was against the Wanderers or it was against someone else, there's no revenge here. What we want is to go all the way.”

If the Roar does win its fourth grand final it will have to get past an in-form Wanderers side before taking on the Melbourne Victory in Melbourne next week in the semi-final.

Aloisi was confident he had enough big-game players, such as Thomas Broich, Brett Holman and Thomas Kristensen, to become the first side to win the A-League from outside the top two, after finishing third behind the Victory and Premier's Plate winner Sydney FC in the regular season.

"We know it can be done,” Aloisi said.

"A lot of things happen in sport and we have got a squad that can go all the way.”

History points to a Brisbane win, as the Roar have never lost a finals match in nine attempts at Suncorp Stadium.

They also have the wood over the Wanderers this season, going unbeaten in three games since that heartbreaking semi-final defeat.

But Aloisi said he knew what to expect from the Wanderers and it would not be easy for his team.

"They're well organised, they've got some dangerous players going forward and defensively, their structures are good,” he said.

"But we know how they play and we do match up well against them.”

Aloisi was confident all the drama surrounding veteran Broich's departure at the end of the season would not affect his players.

"This football team's had a lot of distractions and it's never bothered them,” he said.

"I spoke to (Broich) yesterday afternoon, gave him a call just to see how he was.

"He said 'I'm preparing exactly the same as I would any other game'.

"That's all I wanted to hear. That's the professional he is.”

News Corp Australia


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