Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey has invoked the spirit of State of Origin ahead of his team's clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final on Sunday.
Queensland have defeated their southern opponents in eight straight Rugby League Origin series, and the Roar will be attempting to build a similar legacy at Suncorp Stadium by claiming their third title in four years.
Mulvey stressed that his side would not be underestimating a dangerous Wanderers outfit, but said home advantage would give Brisbane an edge.
"We've got a formidable opponent this week," he said.
"There's going to be 52,000 people here, I'm led to believe between eight and 10,000 Western Sydney fans, and that means there's going to be 40 to 42,000 thousand people dressed in orange cheering us on.
"We've got a duty to prepare well and perform well for those people.
"We've got our eye on the prize. We've won the Premiership and we're very, very pleased with that, but that was then, this is now.
"Dare I say it, this is Queensland versus New South Wales.
"This is 'The Cauldron' and we're going to be up for the fight, you'd better believe it."
The manager, who reinvigorated a jaded-looking Roar side after taking over from Rado Vidosic midway though last season, stressed the importance of experience going into such a high-stakes game, while denying Brisbane lost their cool in a hectic final five minutes of their semi-final against the Melbourne Victory.
"It wasn't our best finish to a game," Mulvey said of the final five minutes of the semi, in which the Victory created a host of chances but somehow failed to find the net.
"I thought for 85 minutes we really controlled it, I thought we controlled the tempo of the game, but you have to remember you're playing a semi-final and there's no easy games.
"Have you ever seen an easy State of Origin game?
"We need to be on our toes, and that's why it's important that we do understand what went wrong in the last five minutes, and I think we were the architect of our own problems.
"Panic is not in our vocabulary. It was poor decision-making.
"It was a very strong message for this weekend. If we switch off, and don't play to our potential, we don't play to the game-plan, then we can put ourselves under pressure."
As for in-doubt forward Dimitri Petratos, Mulvey says the chances of him recovering from a swollen ankle in time for the Grand Final are high, even though he did not train on Wednesday.
"I reckon 99 per cent he'll be fit," he said. "Looks good, the swelling has gone down.
"He'll train Friday. That's the plan. If he doesn't train Friday then he won't be in the team, simple as that."comments