Roar unleash intimidation factor
Returning linchpin Thomas Broich has warned Perth Glory should feel "intimidated" by a Brisbane Roar outfit hungry to continue their record A-League streak to the end of the season.
In a major boost to the red-hot Roar, German Broich is set to start at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night after shrugging off a groin injury earlier than expected.
The classy import was a frustrated spectator when the runaway leaders took their unbeaten run to 19 matches with a 1-0 win over second-placed Adelaide United on Sunday.
But the victory, also forged without skipper Matt McKay and defender Ivan Franjic, underlined Brisbane's dominance and premiership credentials.
Among the most skilful players in the league, Broich denied the streak placed any extra pressure on the Roar with six regular-season matches to play before finals.
"It's nice to have the streak," the former Bundesliga midfielder said.
"To be perfectly honest I think the pressure is on the other teams.
"We're quite confident at the moment and Perth are coming to Suncorp and they should be intimidated so it's a good thing for us."
Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou has continually said the Roar's best was ahead of them and now expects his team to end the season with a flourish which could also break the all-time national league unbeaten record of 22 set by APIA Leichhardt in 1986-87.
After successfully negotiating their hectic period of matches before Christmas, Postecoglou reasoned their less demanding New Year schedule, which includes just one trip interstate, would have them fresh and ready to fire for the finals.
"With the schedule we've got now there's no reason why we can't play our best football," he said.
"We got through that (tough period) really well and they should be flying now.
"I don't think (the streak) builds any extra pressure, I think if anything it works the other way and just makes the boys have more belief in what we're doing.
"I think the run has been extraordinary as it is and I don't think that anything has to be added to it but if we keep it going then it just gives an exclamation point to it."
One possible spanner in the works could be an injury to Costa Rican marksman Jean Carlos Solorzano, after the Roar opted against replacing departed striker Reinaldo with a noted goal-scorer.
Postecoglou hinted he would have preferred to recruit another striker but financial constraints ultimately saw the club promote youth league skipper Chris Bush, an attacking midfielder.
"Would I have loved to have brought in another player? In an ideal world, yeah you probably would but I'm confident in the squad we've got that we'll probably be able to see it through," he said.
While the Roar still have Franjic sidelined, the 10th-placed Glory will be without midfielder Naum Sekulovski, who injured his knee in the 0-0 draw with Gold Coast on Monday, and are still waiting for defender Chris Coyne (Achilles) to return.
Perth have also released Central Coast-bound striker Michael Baird from the last three months of his contract.