Mulvey: Finals start now


It is finals football come early for Brisbane Roar, according to Head Coach Mike Mulvey.

It is finals football come early for Brisbane Roar, according to Head Coach Mike Mulvey.

The club currently sits two points and one position out of the Hyundai A-League top six and have a game in hand over sixth-placed Newcastle Jets.

With two matches in quick succession, on Sunday against ninth-placed Melbourne Heart and on Thursday against fifth-placed Sydney FC, destiny of playing finals football lies solely in Brisbane-s hands.

Only four points separate Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix – in the wooden spoon position – meaning Mulvey needs to guide his team to a positive result against the Heart as other results could cause a host of different scenarios.

“The way I-m looking at things right now is that the season is actually over and we are in cup final mode now,” he said.

“We-re in to a situation where we are playing cup finals every week so we can approach things a little bit differently.”

As two-time defending Hyundai A-League Champions, it’s clear Brisbane have had an impeccable record in finals over recent years.

Despite the fact this season hasn’t quite gone to plan, Mulvey was confident the team would lift in a similar way and perform to their very best against the Heart.

“It’s something Brisbane have been good at in the past, playing finals football, and it’s started a couple of weeks early,” he said.

“We’re approaching it as a must win situation and I encourage all the football fans of Queensland and Brisbane to come see us play.

“This weekend is not for the faint-hearted. We need to turn up and play and that’s what we intend to do.”

Brisbane go into Sunday’s match without veteran defender Jade North, who is in camp with the Qantas Socceroos ahead of Australia’s FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Oman on Tuesday.

Mulvey revealed he had made a decision on who he would pick to partner 19-year-old James Donachie in the heart of defence but remained tightlipped on details.

Both Ivan Franjic and Matt Jurman have also played in that role this season with vocal left-back Shane Stefanutto also an option.

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne Heart
Sunday, 24 March 2013
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Referee: Matt Gillett

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sports 3

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael Theo (gk), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Stef Nijland, 10. Henrique, 11. Ben Halloran, 14. Steven Lustica, 15. James Donachie, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Matt Acton (gk), 22. Thomas Broich (c), 25. George Lambadaridis, 26. Corey Brown (three to be omitted)

Ins: 4. Matt Jurman (promoted), 10. Henrique (returns from injury), 25. George Lambadaridis (promoted), 26. Corey Brown (promoted)
Outs: 13. Jade North (International duty – Socceroos)
Unavailable: 2. Matt Smith (hip – season)

Melbourne Heart squad: 1. Clint Bolton, 3. Cameron Edwards, 8. Matt Thompson, 9. Dylan Macallister, 10. Josip Tadic, 11. Richard Garcia, 14. Golgol Mebrathu, 15. David Williams, 16. Marcel Meeuwis, 17. Jason Hoffman, 18. David Vrankovic, 19. Ben Garuccio, 20. Andrew Redmayne, 21. Jamie Coyne, 22. Nick Kalmar, 24. Sam Mitchinson, 25. Jeremy Walker, 36. Eli Babalj (three to be omitted)

Ins: 3. Cameron Edwards, 9. Dylan Macallister, 17. Jason Hoffman, 19. Ben Garuccio, 36. Eli Babalj
Outs: 4. Simon Colosimo (one week – suspended), 5. Fred (injury – undisclosed), 6. Patrick Gerhardt (international duty), 13. Germano (injury – undisclosed)
Unavailable: 23. Mate Dugandzic (broken foot – season)