Brisbane Roar out to make amends in finals
Whether Brisbane Roar are worthy finalists is open for debate.
But coach Mike Mulvey promised on Monday the under-performing A-League defending champions would be out to make amends for their disappointing season in the play-offs.
The Roar scraped into the top six despite losing more games (12) than they won (10).
It is hardly the record expected from a team that dominated the previous two seasons.
However, Mulvey believed his side would be back to their best in the finals - starting with Sunday's elimination clash with top-four outfit Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.
"We are disappointed in terms of our overall season. We'd prefer to be up the table," Mulvey said.
"But we are coming good at the right end of the season.
"We want to make amends for what has been a largely disappointing season.
"We turned the corner some time ago and the players deserve credit for that.
"The good news is that there is still room for improvement."
Two-time champions the Roar locked up fifth place with a deserved 3-1 win over Sydney FC in their regular season finale at Suncorp Stadium last Thursday night.
The victory capped a remarkable rise since Mulvey took over from Rado Vidosic as interim coach in late December with the Roar only one point clear of last place.
"We have momentum and I think that counts for a lot because it brings strong self belief and the ability to keep doing what you do well," Mulvey said.
"The guys are in great spirits and the form book doesn't lie. We are playing well."
Mulvey gushed that the Roar could win a third straight title after downing Sydney FC but was more reserved on Monday.
"What is difficult in any finals system is to come from fifth or sixth and win the grand final," he said.
"You have a massive advantage if you play at home or have a week off. But these are the cards that we have been dealt."
Mulvey watched over the weekend to see whether the Roar went to Adelaide or took on the Victory in Melbourne on Friday night in their elimination final.
"To tell you the truth it didn't bother me (who they played)," he said.
"I think you could see for both teams there are moments within their games that are not going so right."
Back-to-back 1-0 victories at Hindmarsh Stadium this season for Brisbane had further buoyed Mulvey.
"It gives you some confidence going to an arena like Adelaide where they have parochial fans and get a result. That shows the character of the players," he said.
"But finals is different."