Paartalu primed for points

Ahead of Saturday’s historic first Hyundai A-League clash against Melbourne Heart, Brisbane midfielder Erik Paartalu said his team are focusing on extending their unbeaten home run to five matches.

Ahead of Saturday-s historic first Hyundai A-League clash against Melbourne Heart, Brisbane midfielder Erik Paartalu said his team are focusing extending their unbeaten home run to five matches.

Brisbane haven-t lost at home since they fell 2-0 to Newcastle Jets in January, and will be looking to extend their record on Saturday against a team just beginning to find their rhythm in the competition.

“We-ve got to be positive and keep playing our football and let teams worry about us when they come to our home ground,” Paartalu said.

Facing a side with an array of experienced players including 2006 FIFA World Cup veterans Josip Skoko and John Aloisi, the 24-year-old said Brisbane also had a wealth of footballing knowledge to draw from to overcome the challenge presented by the new Melbourne club.

“They-ve got quite a few good players and some experienced heads but we-ve got experienced boys as well who have played for the Socceroos so we can-t forget that,” he said.

“They-ve got Aloisi back and he scored on the weekend so they pose a threat up front.

“We-ll try and break them down with our passing game like we have done with other teams.

“Hopefully we can finish off our chances and get a few goals in.”

Brisbane are the most efficient team at putting shots on target in the Hyundai A-League with 46.9 per cent of their 81 shots (fourth overall) hitting the target, but Ange Postecoglou-s men know they must turn those shots on goal into goals.

Yet to score for the Roar, the defensive midfielder says he-s long overdue a shot at goal and said if the opportunity falls for him against the Heart, he-d be more than happy to try his luck.

Despite that, Paartalu said he-s been satisfied playing the link between the back four and the midfield for the Roar this season.

“I really want to try and get forward and have a shot this weekend,” he said.

“It-s been nagging me since the Sydney game, I had a shot so I really want to get forward on Saturday and have a crack.

“I haven-t got forward too much this season but I-m happy to just play my role in the team, do my job and help the other midfielders get forward.”

With a tough game away to Perth Glory facing the Brisbane players after this weekend-s game, Paartalu again stressed the importance of collecting all three points in front of their home crowd.

“We all know how hard it is to go to places like Perth and Wellington with all the travelling, so that-s why we have to make sure we pick up the points at home,” he said.

“We-ve put last week to bed now, we didn-t get the three points but we were happy with the performance in the second half and we-ll try and move on from there.

“All the boys are looking really sharp at training, so I-m looking forward to it.”

Brisbane Roar vs Melbourne Heart kicks off at 5.15pm on Saturday 25 September at Suncorp Stadium.

Tickets available here.

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