Enjoying wearing the captain’s armband, Brisbane Roar skipper Matt McKay is hoping his confidence as leader will continue to reflect in his team’s results.
One of only two remaining players of the Roar-s foundation squad, along with fellow midfield workhorse Massimo Murdocca, McKay was given the captaincy of his hometown club following the departure of Craig Moore at the end of last season.
Although agreeing he-s relishing in his new role, McKay said there has been little difference in his approach to football.
“I think I-m doing the same things I-ve done in previous years, possibly just doing them a tiny bit better,” the 27-year-old said.
“I-m working hard and everyone is working hard and that is the kind of team I want to be around.”
McKay has witnessed many ups and downs in his five years at the Brisbane-based club but said the beginning of this season had displayed encouraging signs for his team.
“We-ve had a lot of good experiences, and we-ve had a lot of bad experiences,” he said.
“Obviously a couple of years ago we were one game away from a grand final both times, but in saying that, this year it-s totally different – different personnel, different manager and a different atmosphere in the team dressing room.
“It-s encouraging, but like I said, it-s only three games in but we-re keeping clean sheets and we-re working very hard and the results have shown.”
The attacking midfielder said Brisbane were eager to take their impressive home form on the road, but said they would stick to the usual game plan against Newcastle Jets on Sunday.
“They-re a fairly physical side and they work hard like us,” he said.
“I don-t think we-ll take a conservative approach, I think we-ll play the way we usually play.
“We-ll try and play out from the back and move their side around and try and open up their gaps.”
McKay was also looking forward to the game for another reason, excited at the prospect of lining up against former Brisbane Strikers star Kasey Wehrman.
Despite his excitement at testing himself against one of his idols as a developing footballer, McKay was confident his team could come away with the three points.
“It-s going to be a tough game, it always is down there but in saying that, we-ve got an excellent record down there.”
With 107 appearances to his name, McKay has the most of any player to wear the orange jersey, but admits he would like to add to his goal tally in the league, which currently stands at 16.
“I want to score as many as I can to help the team,” he said.
“If I can get into those positions and when I do get into those positions, I want to score because we don-t want to be missing chance and I want to set an example.”
Hesitant to name an exact number, McKay said the more goals the better to add to his decisive strike against Sydney FC two weeks ago.
“Anything close to ten would be great, but anything over five would be good as well,” he said.
Brisbane Roar play Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle on Sunday 5 September. Kickoff is at 3pm.