It will be business as usual for A-League premiers Brisbane Roar over the last three weeks of the home-and-away season as they aim to sharpen their game.
They have the premier’s plate in their keeping with three rounds left but there’s no way the Brisbane Roar will ease off and freshen up for the A-League finals.
The Roar joined the Melbourne Victory as the most successful club in the competition’s history by winning their second premiership, to go along with their back-to-back 2010-11 and 2011-12 championships, thanks to a thrilling 1-0 win over the Victory on Saturday night.
It was a match that was fitting not only of a top-of-the-table encounter, but also of one that had silverware on the line and the Roar could justifiably let the champagne corks pop for days.
Brisbane also have a number of players nursing knocks and niggles, but coach Mike Mulvey declared they’ll be as ruthless as ever in their next three games against Melbourne Heart, Western Sydney and Central Coast.
Luke Brattan was hobbling with a hip problem when he produced the injury-time screamer from 25m that sunk the Victory, but Mulvey immediately told him he’ll have to back up against the Heart on Friday night.
German maestro Thomas Broich is another who the coach said would play through despite carrying niggles.
“We believe we’ve earned the right to be champions right now,” Mulvey said. “But there’s a new competition starting which is what the main silverware is about and we’re up for it.
“This is a momentary pause for celebration … but it’s a momentary pause.”
Ramming home the point, Brattan stressed the relentless Roar players won’t be taking their feet off the pedal.
“We’ll play exactly the way we’ve played all season, and build momentum to the finals,” the midfielder said. “We’re looking to win every game.”
The Victory were up to the challenge of repelling the Roar’s up-tempo, high-possession in their fifth match in 16 days in a display that well pleased coach Kevin Muscat.
Although Brattan’s wonder strike sent them home pointless, Muscat felt they’d continued the momentum they’d built from three straight wins, including Tuesday’s 1-0 Asian Champions League upset of Yokohama.
“It’s hard to take confidence from a loss but the way we came here and played tonight I’m extremely proud of the boys,’ he said.
“Our structure was spot-on and really frustrated them but going the other way I thought we showed a real cutting edge and real threat going forward.”