Brisbane Roar coach Frans Thijssen is confident his side's promising away form will aid its bid for finals glory following Saturday's 3-2 triumph over Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.
By and large, the Roar have been steadier on the road than at home, with six wins and six losses away (including two-from-two in Adelaide) compared to three wins, five losses in Brisbane.
Given the prospect of Thijssen's men having to wade their way through the finals on higher-ranked rivals’ home grounds, the Roar’s ability and confidence to perform on the road could be crucial.
“We’ve been quite happy with the results away from home,” Thijssen said.
“If we play in the play-offs, that’s quite good [important]."
The Dutch-born manager was particularly pleased with the resilience shown by his team, now a certainty to play finals given Perth Glory’s disqualification for salary cap breaches, having just touched back down in Australia from South Korea following Wednesday’s 3-1 AFC Champions League loss to Suwon Bluewings.
“Respect for the players because it’s a long trip, 15 hours [there], 15 hours back, and having to play a couple of days later again,” Thijssen said.
“If you sit 15 hours in a plane and can’t move your legs, it’s hard for the players.
“The first half was great … but after 3-1 there was a bit of panic because we have a young team.
“I think they deserved it [the win] after this week.
“It would have been sad to go away and lose in Korea and lose here.”
The only real sour spot for Brisbane was the contentious 94th-minute red-carding of Daniel Bowles for his challenge on Reds stopper Nigel Boogaard in the box, resulting in Pablo Sanchez stepping up and converting the penalty.
Bowles was desperately unlucky with television replays showing Boogaard was offside when the incident happened.
It’s a stiff blow for the Roar’s undermanned defence, already missing the likes of vice-captain Shane Stefanutto, Jade North and James Donachie.
“It was 100 percent offside and after the offside you get a red card,” Thijssen said.
“It’s sad for Daniel who’s just back in the team and this happens to him.
“He said ‘he [Boogaard] was offside, I was on the wrong side and went back’, otherwise you don’t make a foul because he’s offside – he thought it was over already.
“It’s another defender gone.”
Thijssen remains confident that the reigning premiers will still take some beating if and when they can assemble a near full-strength outfit.
“We missed four defenders and another today [Bowles] with a red card which was very sad to see,” Thijssen said.
“I’ve said many times if we’re complete with everybody in our group back then we have a good, strong team and everybody should think about the Brisbane Roar.”comments