Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou is maintaining a firm focus on his squad ahead of the historic clash with Hyundai A-League new boys Melbourne Heart.
Meeting at Toowoomba-s Clive Berghofer Stadium on Friday 25 June, the game marks the Hearts- first competitive match against Hyundai A-League competition.
However, Postecoglou is refusing to get swept away by the occasion, fixed on fine-tuning his squad-s performance ahead of the kick-off to the new season.
“I don-t think it-s the kind of game where you think too much about the opposition,” Postecoglou said.
“Both teams will be worried about their own teams … how their players are progressing, where their fitness levels are at and how the plan you have been working on is progressing.
“There will be plenty of interest in the Heart … but right now it is more about your own club.”
Brisbane has yet to experience the bitter taste of defeat in its pre-season Roar Roadshow tour, racking up morale boosting victories against tough local opponents.
But with a likely line-up including hardened professionals such as Simon Colosimo, Clint Bolton and Dean Heffernan the Heart offer a squad capable of challenging Brisbane-s hot-streak.
However, win, lose or draw, Postecoglou-s paramount concern is the evolution of his squad-s performance.
“The players have had to work hard against the local opposition … but obviously the quality of the Hearts- players is a little bit better,” Postecoglou said.
“We-re still six weeks out so there is still a long way to go, so for now it-s about constant improvement and constant progress.”
One constant throughout the Roar-s pre-season has been the steady growth of grass-root football supporters cheering on the club.
And with the Darling Downs area one of the Roar-s major regional outposts, Postecoglou is hoping the trend of large crowds supporting Brisbane-s pre-season matches continues in Toowoomba.
“I think wherever we-ve gone we have seen real enthusiasm amongst the people,” he said.
“We-ve had big crowds and that-s helped the players address the game in the right manner … big crowds helps build the atmosphere and helps the players keep the motivation up.
“And I-ve been talking to people up there they are really excited about it.
“I-m sure a big contingent of our fans will make the trip … so I-m expecting a big crowd in Toowoomba.”