The Moss Pit
Courtesy of the Central Coast Express Advocate
THERE are plenty of differences between the Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar heading into Sunday-s Hyundai A-League grand final at Suncorp Stadium.
But perhaps the one that could play the biggest role in the outcome of the match is this - Brisbane need to win it while we want to win it! When you break that down, psychologically it can make a big difference to the way the players approach the game.
We depart for Brisbane tomorrow morning in a relaxed frame of mind having worked hard during a normal week. You can bet your bottom dollar Brisbane Roar have not been afforded the same luxury north of the border.
Having already qualified for next year-s Asian Champions League by way of our 1-0 preliminary final victory over Gold Coast last Saturday night on the back of a second-place finish to the regular season, we have surpassed the so-called experts- pre-season predictions.
Don-t get me wrong - we are going there this weekend to win it with everyone connected with the club keen to make it third time lucky after two runners-up medals on grand final day in the past.
But it will be a nothing-to-lose attitude - as it was two weeks ago up there for us - given all the pressure and expectation is on Brisbane to cap their remarkable season with glory on the final day.
We head north with the memories of last Saturday night still etched firmly in our minds. The sheer emotion on the faces of our wonderful supporters as we walked the victory lap at full-time is something that will stay with us forever.
Coach Graham Arnold has played and coached in some massive games during his career but he was clearly taken aback by the outpouring of emotion at fulltime and the noise reverberating around Bluetongue Stadium during the game. It sounded like a much bigger crowd than what it was.
We looked the team most likely to find a goal during that second half but don-t underestimate the role our supporters played in helping striker Adam Kwasnik fire home the all-important winner and allowing young goalkeeper Matty Ryan to pull off the double-save of the season to help keep our 13th clean-sheet of the campaign!
We may not have the majority of Sunday-s 50,000 Suncorp Stadium crowd on our side but rest assured the players and coaching staff will take our memories of last Saturday night out into battle with us.
Strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride!