Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey says no one will be rested before the A-League finals, despite sealing the Premiers Plate with three rounds left.
Parking the “Rolls-Royce” is not an option for minor premiers the Brisbane Roar as they look to find another gear before the A-League finals.
Man of the moment Luke Brattan is in doubt, but Roar coach Mike Mulvey won’t entertain resting any of his battle-weary players before their championship assault.
Brattan’s late match winner last round ensured Brisbane sealed the Premiers Plate with three rounds left.
But the jury is out on whether Brattan will overcome the hip complaint he nursed while launching his stoppage-time thunderbolt and run out against Melbourne Heart at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Mulvey said he would wait until the last minute to assess Brattan and Ivan Franjic (ankle).
He said they weren’t the only players nursing niggles, but ruled out the likes of heavily targeted German maestro Thomas Broich being rested before the finals.
“Luke played through the pain barrier last week and he scored that goal so it was justified, but we will err on the side of caution,” Mulvey said.
“But no one is on half-shifts. We are full steam ahead.
“Players like Broich thrive on continuous football.
“He’s like a Rolls-Royce. Once he gets going in a nice rhythm, he is very hard to stop.”
Mulvey was wary of the Heart despite the visitors being knocked out of the finals race by Central Coast last Sunday.
But the Roar have the finals firmly in their sights, with mixed feelings.
Brisbane get the first week off but will be bundled out of the title race if they lose a semi-final at Suncorp Stadium on April 27, despite being the runaway competition leaders.
Roar playmaker Matt McKay said he didn’t agree with the format.
“I don’t like it, but this is what we have been dealt,” he said.
“But if you want to call yourself the best team in Australia, you have to win those games.”
However, Mulvey believed they held a huge finals edge.
“That home-ground advantage is a massive thing to have,” he said.
“A good team right on their game is going to have to come here and win.”
Midfielder Brattan has been tipped as a bolter for Australia’s World Cup squad in Brazil in June.
McKay believed the better the Roar played the better their chances of getting as many Brisbane players in Ange Postecoglou’s 23-man squad.
But Mulvey warned: “If anyone is thinking, ‘I could be on the plane for Brazil’, they are not thinking, ‘I have to win this game for Brisbane’.
“Do your stuff on the park and let someone else do the (World Cup) thinking.”