Battle for places in the A-League finals heats up ahead of the last round of the season.Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey has paid a bizarre compliment to Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero ahead of his side’s last round A-League clash with Sydney FC.
Speaking to media before the game, Mulvey enthused his passion for watching Del Piero play, but said he would have no problems in sending him home unhappy.
“As a football fan I’d like to smother him in hugs, because he’s a beautiful player to watch,” Mulvey said.
“But we won’t be watching him tomorrow night, we’ll be making sure we take care of business for our own sake.
“When we’ve got the ball in the final third, we’ll be making sure that he’s not in pockets of space where he can pick up the ball and have the freedom of the park.
“He’s a class player, but we’ve got some class players as well.”
Mulvey borrowed a popular phrase from rugby league to describe his side’s blockbuster clash with Sydney FC, saying the game has got a “state of origin” feel to it.
Speaking ahead of the last round of the A-League, Mulvey said his side is aware of just how important the next 90 minutes will be for his side as they teeter on the brink of making the playoffs.
Currently in sixth position, the Roar are ahead of Sydney FC only on goal difference, with a win to put either side over the top and all but assure them of playing beyond this week.
However, a draw might see both sides sweating on the results of other fixtures in enable them to earn the right to play for the title.
“Queensland versus New South Wales, there’s nothing that gets the blood going more for a Queenslander, so hopefully we’ll have a big crowd out there tomorrow,” Mulvey said.
Sydney FC captain Terry McFlynn said his side was not entertaining any othe thought other than victory in the clash saying they would prefer to have their fate in their own hands.
“We’ve been running over the top of teams and there’s a real belief and assurance in what we’re doing will get the result we desire,” McFlynn said.
Jade North returns to the Roar squad after being an unused substitute in the Socceroos World Cup qualifier against Oman.