Brisbane Roar linchpin Luke Brattan has admitted the pain of last season’s semi-final knockout by Western Sydney at Parramatta Stadium remains.
A second dose of revenge is driving Brisbane Roar’s motivation in Friday night’s big A-League showdown with Western Sydney Wanderers.
Comprehensive 3-1 home victors over the Wanderers already this season, the dominant front-runners are now determined to silence the competition’s most intimidating crowd.
Roar midfield linchpin Luke Brattan admits the pain of last season’s semi-final knockout by the Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium remains and will fuel their fire in their top-of-the-table clash.
Coach Mike Mulvey has used that 2-0 semi-final defeat – sealed by a magical Shinji Ono strike – to stir up his troops as they aim to push 10 points ahead of the Wanderers in the race for the Premiers Plate.
“It’s in the back of our heads,” Brattan said on Wednesday. “That was hard to take.
“You move on, (but) we’ll go down there supremely determined.”
Brattan agreed Parramatta provided the most hostile venue to visit in the league but Brisbane were well prepared from the barrage from the hosts and their noisy, passionate supporters.
“That’s the first time I played there and it was a massive game,” he said. “It’s like a 12th man for them.
“We know what’s coming.”
Brisbane look set to be bolstered by dangerous right-side utility Ivan Franjic, who scored a cracking goal in the 3-1 win over the Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium.
Franjic, sidelined by a stomach illness, trained strongly on Wednesday morning to prove his fitness while Steve Lustica may also be added after his switch from Adelaide United was finalised on Monday.
Socceroo Matt McKay’s absence from training suggests he’s yet to overcome his ankle injury, opening the door for Lustica to make an immediate return to the midfield.
“He’s a tremendous talent,” Brattan said of the 22-year-old. “He played well here last year, so it’s great to have him back.
“We had a good partnership last year so hopefully that will continue.”
Brattan has been among the Roar’s best and most consistent this season, pushing his name towards World Cup calculations and also reportedly sparking interest from English clubs.
But the Hull-born 23-year-old played down his Socceroo hopes and pledged to continue his rise with the Roar.
“I’m improving every day at training and learning something new every day so I’m happy to stay here and I want to win another championship,” Brattan said.