Despite fighting on two fronts and battling a defensive injury crisis, Frans Thijssen insists Brisbane Roar FC are still capable of not just beating Adelaide United but going on to retain their Hyundai A-League title.
Having failed to hit the heights of their all-conquering 2013-14 campaign, the Queensland outfit finished seventh this term, sneaking into the Finals Series courtesy of Perth Glory's disqualification for breaching the salary cap.
On Friday they face Adelaide United in an elimination final away from home, with a must-win AFC Champions League match against Urawa Reds to come next Tuesday.
And they must do it all without first-choice goalkeeper Michael Theo and three likely starters in defence - Luke DeVere, Jade North and Shane Stefanutto.
Striker Henrique is also out.
Nevertheless, interim coach Thijssen - who appears unlikely to stay at the club beyond the end of this season - refused to send out anything other than a positive message.
"We have a good chance," he said.
"If you look at our performance after the break (for the Asian Cup) we had a great run. I still believe we can go all the way. It's just a couple of games and you (can) be there."
With Theo's recovery from a wrist injury having dragged on, reserve goalkeeper Jamie Young has become one of the few regulars in a Roar defence plagued by fitness problems this season.
The 29-year-old came under heavy scrutiny early in the campaign as he struggled to adapt to Brisbane's preference for building from the back.
But the former Reading youngster and ex-England youth international, who has improved markedly throughout the season, claims he didn't take any notice of the doubters.
"I've probably played more games than was expected," Young said.
"I've certainly enjoyed it along the way.
"In terms of what other people think, I don't really like to take notice of that. I think it's very important to be determined and focused, as a goalkeeper especially.
"People always have an opinion and that's totally acceptable. But for me, I just turn up every day to train and improve and that's the mindset I like to have."comments