As the player who, by definition, is the last line of defence, Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young knows the importance that no one at the club gets ahead of themselves with just two rounds of the season remaining.
The Roar are second, on goal difference only, to Melbourne City and are bunched with four teams separated by just two points.
Brisbane hosts Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, 3 April (5pm KO) then travel to take on Melbourne Victory in the last round of the regular season.
On paper, the last round away tie against the Victory is obviously a tough challenge but some may consider this weekend’s clash against eighth-placed Jets as an easier three points.
Not Young and his Roar squad mates.
The keeper expects nothing less than an intense and hard-fought game against the Jets.
He says the focus right now can only be on this Sunday’s match and not next week nor what any other of the high-riding teams are doing.
“We’ve got a lot to play for but we have won nothing yet,” Young said.
“We’ve got to be on our game and very focused on playing well and getting a result.
“As long as we do our best and get the results that we can get, that’s all that matters. Let the other teams worry about themselves.”
Young says last weekend’s stunning late winner against Sydney FC underlined the Roar’s ability to play out the 90 minutes and indicated they are ready for the cut-throat challenges at this stage of the season.
“It showed a never-say-die attitude,” Young said.
“The fact that we responded so positively after the equalising goal showed that we’ve got strength of character and certainly this week we will be looking to take that onto the game against Newcastle.”
The Roar squad will be boosted by the return from Socceroos duty of captain Matt McKay and the return from suspension of defender Jack Hingert – creating some interesting but positive selection headaches for Brisbane Head Coach John Aloisi.
Young expects McKay to return full of confidence after the Socceroos’ two big wins over Jordan (5-1) and Tajikistan (7-0).
“(Matt) always adds a little step to our game so we certainly will be welcoming him back,” Young said.
Aloisi used several players at right back during training drills today, including Hingert, Daniel Bowles and Jerome Polenz.
Young, who has played 16 of the 25 rounds so far, including the last three, said the competition for places was good for the squad and Hingert’s return had raised the bar again for the defenders.
“He’s very strong, he’s been very consistent for us all season and if he is chosen to play in the side again, I’m sure he will perform in that manner,” Young said.
Young added that it was important for everyone within the squad to take nothing for granted at this time of the season.
He said the Roar must continue the week-to-week improvement they have shown over the last six months.
“We are never satisfied with everything, there is always something to look at and improve,” Young said.
“You look at the positives but you also consider the negatives as well and always strive to improve.”