Brisbane ready for Phoenix battle

Tuesday, 8 November 2011 2:19 PM

Brisbane ready for Phoenix battle

The disappointment of Saturday night’s 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory has been forgotten according to Brisbane Roar midfielder Erik Paartalu, with the squad already directing their focus to Sunday’s round six match against Wellington Phoenix.

Brisbane Roar is currently on a 33-game unbeaten streak, with another strong performance at the cauldron that is Suncorp Stadium on Sunday sure to push the club another step closer to the all-time Australian unbeaten record across all national football codes.

Having already surpassed the undefeated streaks held by NSL and VFL (AFL) teams from the 1980s and 1950s respectively, the Brisbane team is now looking to surpass the last major record in its way - the Eastern Suburbs, now known as the Sydney Roosters, NSWRL (NRL) record of 35 games unbeaten which it has held since 1936.

“The boys are in good spirits, we had a good day off yesterday and everyone has come back fresh, ready to go for the game on Sunday,” he said.

“There’s definitely no complacency (about the streak), the boys have the same attitude every day which is great.

“There’s a good team spirit here and nothing has changed since day one of the pre-season.

“There are no egos amongst the team and everyone can speak to everyone and get along fantastically well and you can see we work hard for each other.

“In the games, even if we get a draw, we’re still working hard until the 90th minute.”

Paartalu confessed he felt a sense of frustration within his teammates during Saturday night’s match against the Victory – something he was sure his side would channel to ensure maximum points are collected against the Phoenix.

“As we’ve shown in the past, when teams come and park the bus so to speak in front of the halfway line, we’ve still found a way to get past it,” he said.

“Saturday night we were just unlucky we didn’t find the right solutions out there and we’ll go through the video and see what we can do better.

“I think it was more of a frustration thing as well with the boys taking long-distance shots, like myself.

“We couldn’t open them up because they were camped inside their box and it was very difficult.

“To be a bit more composed around the edge of the box when teams do that is something I will take out of the game.”

Looking to improve on last weekend’s result, Paartalu hoped the Brisbane public would get behind the side during the family-friendly kick-off time of 4pm at Suncorp Stadium.

“It’ll be a great day for football on Sunday afternoon so hopefully we can build on the smaller crowds we’ve had this year and get above the 20,000 mark,” he said.

“It’s nice to go and play in an atmosphere, regardless if it’s positive or negative, it creates a buzz.

“Those are the types of games you want to play in.”

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