Brisbane Roar skipper Matt Smith says his team’s week of rest might not be as much of an advantage for the A-League semi-finals as many think.
Brisbane players are uncertain whether their break from action will be all that beneficial going into Sunday’s A-League semi-final.
The Roar are the only one of the four clubs left in the A-League who aren’t also taking part in the Asian Champions League.
Their opponents on Sunday, Melbourne Victory, play Jeonbuk in Korea on Tuesday night after overcoming Sydney FC in a thrilling elimination final last weekend.
The other semi-finalists – Western Sydney and Central Coast – also have mid-week fixtures before their clash on Saturday at Parramatta Stadium.
Through it all, the Roar have sat back and prepared.
While there’s no doubt they’ll go into the grand final qualifier fresh, the lack of match action could also catch out the Roar against a match-hardened Victory outfit.
“They’re playing Champions League; they’re playing A-League,” Roar skipper Matt Smith said.
“They’re gaining some great performances and I think that’ll add to them coming into the game.”
Sunday’s clash also looms as the first chance for star striker Besart Berisha to face the Victory this season.
Berisha’s campaign has been disrupted by injury and suspension meaning the Albanian has missed all three matches between the Roar and his future club.
Smith says he has no issue with Berisha’s temperament despite his disciplinary record and he has no doubts the striker’s mind will be on the job despite his looming move to the Victory next season.
“I’m very much looking forward to seeing him play,” he said.
“I know that he’s really excited about the game.”