Roar need drought-breaker to keep dream alive
BRISBANE Roar must beat the Glory in Perth for the first time in more than five years if they are to put maximum pressure on Western Sydney Wanderers in the race for an A-League finals spot.
With one round of the regular season remaining the Wanderers are in the box seat to secure the sixth and final playoff berth following their easy 3-0 weekend win over a woeful Roar at ANZ Stadium.
Western Sydney's win moved them into sixth, a point ahead of both the Roar and the Glory.
Should the Wanderers defeat fifth-placed Adelaide United, who can't be dislodged from the top six on the final night of the regular season on Sunday, they will qualify for the finals, regardless of what happens the night before between Perth and Brisbane.
A draw against the eighth-placed Glory, who must win to have any hope of snaring sixth place, may yet be enough for the Roar to play finals football for an eighth successive year if Adelaide beat the Wanderers.
However, the Roar want to beat Perth to ensure that the Wanderers cannot settle for a draw against the Reds.
If Brisbane do prevail at NIB Stadium, it will be the three-time A-League champions' first win at the Glory's home ground since January 26, 2013, when a James Meyer goal secured the visitors a 1-0 victory.
In six visits to the venue since then, the Roar have drawn three and lost three, including an embarrassing 6-3 defeat in February 2016.
The Roar defended poorly that night, as they did in their weekend loss to the Wanderers.
Brisbane coach John Aloisi said his players were hurting and desperate for redemption this weekend against the Glory.
"I'm expecting a reaction from them," Aloisi said.
"The boys have showed character after we've lost games at other times this season and I'm expecting the same.
"We know if we win, the pressure is going to be right on the Wanderers. They're going to have to win as well and that's not easy against Adelaide."
Aloisi admitted his side became uncharacteristically flustered after conceding an early goal against the Wanderers.
"That's something we normally don't do. We've come from behind to beat teams a lot of times over the years, but this time we panicked and lost our shape," he said.
"As coach, I take responsibility for that as well."
Aloisi was confident defenders Ivan Franjic and Daniel Bowles, midfielder Thomas Kristensen and attacking weapon Fahid Ben Khalfallah would overcome slight injury concerns in time for Saturday night's clash.