Lustica: Roar still shooting for finals

Free-scoring Brisbane Roar midfielder Steven Lustica believes his side can still make the A-League semis after destroying the Central Coast Mariners 6-1.

Lustica bagged three goals and set up another as the Roar punished the Mariners last week, handing Central Coast its biggest loss in their 10-year history.

Brisbane is currently in seventh spot on the ladder, six points behind Melbourne City, but have a game in hand

The Roar face Adelaide United, Melbourne Victory twice and the Newcastle Jets in their remaining four A-League fixtures. City play Wellington Phoenix, Perth Glory and Adelaide United in their final three games.

“Provided we play like we did against the Mariners we still have a big chance of playing finals football,” Lustica told FourFourTwo.

“We have to continue to be hungry as we definitely have the players to get us there. I thought the team played very well and it was important we started the game with our usual high pressing of the Mariners.

“I enjoyed playing my more attacking position in midfield on the right hand side of the three and felt very comfortable linking with our forward line.”

Lustica had made 18 appearances, and had scored two goals in the A-League this season, before recording his impressive hat-trick against the Central Coast.

The 23-year old has notched eight goals in two and half seasons with Brisbane and Adelaide United, but believes he can add more goals to his game.

“I have scored a few hat-tricks in my junior days with Croatia Deakin, however this was obviously my first hat-trick in my professional career,” Lustica said.

“Of course I was happy with the three goals but I was also happy to have an assist in there as well. The most pleasing part of the game was the way we played and continued to attack until the last minute.

“The other three goals were all class and involved some great teamwork. That’s what please me the most. I work on my shooting a lot at training and in my own time especially.

“I feel I can always contribute in scoring goals when I’m playing in that position.”
Lustica has enjoyed an extended run in the Roar’s starting XI of late, starting in the past three A-League matches.

“I am enjoying playing more regularly and it is always important for players to have a good game when the opportunity arises,” he admits.

“Hopefully I can get a consistent run in the team as I feel I have a lot to offer.”

Brisbane will have to balance their Asian Champions campaign along with a tilt at the A-League finals. The Roar face Suwon Bluewings in a crunch fixture on Wednesday night in Korea, with both Brisbane and the K-League side currently equal on four points in Group G with three games left.

“Suwon will definitely be a tough opponent,” Lustica said.

“They scored three goals last time so it will be important that we stay focused and compact.”