Topor-Stanley on handling the big stage

A-League All-Star & Western Sydney Wanderers defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley talks about his big-game preparation ahead of the glamour clash with Manchester United

Play the game not the occasion

“I try to play the game not the occasion. I prepare pretty much the same routine for all games.

More after the break

“I’m a pretty competitive person so all games I play to win. I try to do all the right things during the week in training, mentally so I know I’m ready.”

Take no shortcuts at training

“I try to improve every day. That means giving 100 per cent in training and not cutting any corners.

“Mentally that gives you an edge for the weekend, because you know you’ve done all the hard work.”

Visualise the game the night before

“I try to eat well, hydrate a lot and get my rest the night before. Mentally you want to start thinking about visualising certain situations in the game, so when it happens it’s like second nature. 

“It’s all about having a plan and knowing your opponent. You want to think about previous situations where you’ve faced certain opponents and visualise their tendencies and their strengths.”

Pre-game nutrition

“I like plenty of pasta the night before. I try to stay away from heavy carbs during the week, but you need plenty of energy for game day. Pasta is a favourite meal of mine, I’d like to eat it every day, but getting older my metabolism isn’t as fast as it used to be.”

“For breakfast on game day I’ll have oats, I’m a big fan of porridge. I like a good hit with a bit of banana and honey.”

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