Brisbane Roar's finals hopes remain on a knife's edge, and coach Mike Mulvey has identified Saturday's meeting with Melbourne Victory as an important challenge
|By DANIEL COLASIMONE
Mike Mulvey says the way Brisbane Roar acquit themselves against Melbourne Victory on Saturday will reveal where the reigning champions stand heading into the business end of the season.
The Roar have earned seven points from their last three games, but coach Mulvey says the true test of his side's finals credentials will come against the Victory.
Mulvey described Brisbane's next opponents as one of the favourites for the A-League title, but claims his side will relish the challenge of playing them at Suncorp Stadium.
"I think tomorrow night will tell us where the Roar are at right now," Mulvey said.
"That will tell us how far we've come in this space of time.
"They're a formidable opponent, but one that we're going to welcome to our stadium, and we're going to have a go at them because we've got some self belief, we've got great focus now.
"We've got fantastic team spirit and it should be a great occasion tomorrow night."
Brisbane have not conceded a goal in their last four matches - a period which has coincided with Jade North and 19-year-old James Donachie starting at the centre of defence.
The pair complement each other well, according to Mulvey, but credit for the recent defensive record must go to the whole team.
"I think Jade is now showing the quality of player that he is, and his level of experience that he has" he said.
"He's really helped young James and I think that's really important.
"It's not just what they're doing, it's what the people around them are doing and the structure that we've got.
"Jack Hingert's doing a good job. Shane [Stefanutto] is playing very well. Michael [Theo] has been excellent.
"And the boys in front, Brattsy [Luke Brattan] and Steven [Lustica] have protected.
"It's 11 man defending and 11 man attacking."