Despite the possibility of making his 50th Hyundai A-League appearance against Perth Glory this weekend, Mitch Nichols has said his focus is still on regaining his spot in the Brisbane Roar starting eleven.
If he takes the field on Sunday at nib Stadium, the 21-year-old will join fellow midfielders Massimo Murdocca and Matt McKay, as well as striker Reinaldo, as the only current Roar players to notch up more than 50 appearances for Brisbane.
Although saying he was pleasantly surprised at the thought of achieving the milestone, Nichols said he would approach the game just like any other.
“I never thought I-d get to 50 games,” he said.
“I-m pretty happy with it, but it-s just another game and hopefully we can come away with the three points.”
Returning to Brisbane on Friday after a week away with the Qantas Olyroos, Nichols said his time in Vietnam boosted his confidence levels.
He set up both goals in Australia-s 2-0 win over the host nation, and said his new found confidence led to his impressive strike against Melbourne Heart.
The goal was his first in Roar colours in over 12 months, his last coming in a 1-1 draw with North Queensland Fury on 5 September last year, and Nichols said he was content with his contribution as a substitute against the Heart.
“When you-re not starting, you-ve got to come off the bench and try and make an impact and I think I did that on the weekend,” he said.
“I got a bit of confidence (in Vietnam), because I played a full game and it-s always good to do that for your national team.
“We-ve got a bit of form now and hopefully we can continue that.”
Seven matches into the season, Brisbane Roar now sit in second place on the Hyundai A-League ladder and Nichols said the whole squad was working hard to guarantee they were still amongst the league leaders in the closing stages of the 2010/11 campaign.
“The gaffer has installed a good team discipline and I think we-re working to his game plan,” he said.
“If we continue that, I think we-ll be right up there at the end of the season.
“We want to be in finals, we want to be successful and it would be disappointing if we weren-t playing in the finals series at the end of the season.”
With the trip across the country always a daunting prospect, Nichols said it was important to secure a win over Perth Glory given the team-s workload after next week-s international break, where the Roar have three home games in the space of a week.
“It-s going to be a tough game, it-s a long flight over there,” he said.
“If we go over there and stick to the game plan, I see no worries in taking home the three points.
“With the way we-ve been playing, we-re good enough to beat anyone on the day.
“If we can get the three points before the international break and before the three games at home, it will give us good momentum and send out a warning to other teams that we are deadly serious this year.”