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Apr 9, 2013

Roar of old gunning for Wanderers: North

Socceroos defender Jade North believes the "Brisbane Roar of old" have returned in time to rock Western Sydney's Parramatta Stadium fortress in Friday night's A-League semi-final.

Whether injured captain Thomas Broich plays or not with a painful achilles problem, North stressed the defending champions have regained their mojo and are poised to turn the tables on the Wanderers.

The fledgling premiers won all three matches against the Roar this season but the central defender says that record, and the Wanderers' 12-match unbeaten streak, will count for little on Friday night.

Although mid-season signing North has never played against Western Sydney, the failures leave a bitter taste in his mouth.

"To me it was hurtful that we couldn't beat them throughout the season, but it's game by game now - it's finals," he said.

"If I was the opposition I wouldn't want to play Brisbane Roar, that's for sure.

"We don't see it as a disadvantage playing away from home - we thrive for these moments - and the old Brisbane Roar is coming out.

"Western Sydney are a great team and they have gone 12 games unbeaten now and 13 is an unlucky number."

The Roar have stormed into the semi-finals on the back of victories over Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and Adelaide and are dominating possession and creating opportunities like they did under Ange Postecoglou in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

North praised new coach Mike Mulvey for bringing the enjoyment back to football for a stale Roar outfit which has now regained it's belief.

Broich was a notable absentee from training on Wednesday morning and is still sporting a heavy limp, but the classy German still maintains he should make a miracle recovery to play.

Brisbane will definitely be without right fullback Jack Hingert (ankle) but in-form midfielder Luke Brattan (calf) trained freely to confirm he'll start in front of a full house at Parramatta.

Hingert's absence is set to see Ivan Franjic return from the wing to defence, which leaves Ben Halloran and Henrique both poised to start on either flank if Broich fails to recover.

North remains "dirty" at Adelaide's rough house tactics on Sunday night, with Brattan felled by a studs-up tackle from Reds striker Jeronimo Neumann.

"It was a horrible tackle," he said. "That was disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful and he could have broken his leg.

"I don't know where their tactics came from the other day but for them to try and kick lumps out of us was not right.

"They were 2-0 down at the time and going nowhere and that wasn't football."

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