Finals start early for A-League’s Roar

By Laine Clark,

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    A question mark may hover over Brisbane Roar’s defensive structure ahead of their crunch A-League clash with an equally desperate Melbourne Heart at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

    However, Roar coach Mike Mulvey says their goal is crystal clear with two regular season games left ahead of the finals.

    “The way we are looking at it the regular season is over. We are in cup final mode now,” he said on Friday.

    A loss for seventh-placed Brisbane (29 points) would not end the defending champions’ top six hopes but the same can’t be said for the Heart (9th; 27pts).

    However, Mulvey said he would settle for nothing less than a win despite the huge hole left by key defender Jade North due to Socceroos duty.

    “Something that Brisbane has been good at in the past is playing finals football and it is starting a few weeks early,” he said.

    “We are approaching the game as if it is a must-win situation.

    “To us it is a knockout final and the prize is pretty big.

    “This weekend there is no room for the faint-hearted.”

    Mulvey was not so forthcoming about the make-up of his reshuffled defence.

    The Roar coach may be forced to thrust out-of-favour Matt Jurman into the line-up after North was selected for the World Cup qualifier against Oman in Sydney on Tuesday.

    Jurman has not played since being hooked in the Roar’s 2-2 draw with Central Coast on February 1.

    Asked if he had decided who would replace North, Mulvey said: “Yes I have”.

    Asked if Jurman would fill the role, Mulvey said: “Perhaps.

    “There is still a couple of more sleeps to go but I know what is going to happen.”

    Melbourne Heart are unbeaten in their last five matches against the Roar.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • March 23rd 2013 @ 9:43am
      Ballymore said | March 23rd 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

      To defend their crown BNE need to win 5 games on the trot, of which the last 3 will almost certainly be away. Their inconsistency & poor away form suggests this is beyond them.

      Regarding JN’s absence I would:

      Move IF centrally, play JH at RB and start Henrique where Franjic has started in recent weeks. Halloran can replace Henrique in the latter stages.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

    • Roar Guru

      March 24th 2013 @ 9:01am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | March 24th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

      The loser of today’s match could become equal favourite to win the wooden spoon.

      With NIX playing MBV next week and, hopefully, MBV rests all the senior players for the 1st final’s match, we can expect the NIX to finish on 30 points.

      Roar possibly finishing bottom of the table … no one could have predicted that 12 months ago.

      • Roar Guru

        March 24th 2013 @ 10:08am
        Cameron Kellett said | March 24th 2013 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        You know what no body else could have predicted?

        Wanderers fighting it out for Premiers plate in round 27.

        In regards to Roar vs Heart today. If Heart don’t win then their season is officially over. If Roar lose and beat Sydney next week and mariners beat heart and wanderers beat or draw with jets then we’ll see glory in 5th if they win and Brisbane in 6th.

        Brisbane can lose today and still make finals.

    • Roar Guru

      March 24th 2013 @ 6:58pm
      Cameron Kellett said | March 24th 2013 @ 6:58pm | ! Report

      How was that FUSS?

      No, last place for Brisbane Roar now!

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