Roar emotion helps lift team to great heights
FOOTBALL: Roar midfielder Ivan Franjic believes the morale at his club is as high as it was during Brisbane's two championship-winning seasons of 2010-11 and 2011-12.
The 26-year-old was outstanding in his team's season-opening 2-1 win over Wellington on Sunday - a constant menace with the ball, setting up his side's first goal, then scoring the winner.
But the energetic midfielder praised his teammates' resolve in coming back from a 1-0 deficit away from home.
"It was a tough game. They were very fit and they made it hard for us," he said.
"It just showed the character of the boys - last year we lost these games 1-0, but to come back and win 2-1 was very positive.
"I thought the boys played well - (Michael) Theo pulled off that crucial save in the first half, but we plucked away and got the result that we wanted."
Franjic said the Roar will take plenty of confidence from that result going into Saturday night's clash against Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium.
The Sky Blues will also be on a high after their 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets last Friday night.
"The most important thing is getting three points away and coming back to Brisbane in front of a big home crowd, and hopefully getting another three points this weekend," Franjic said.
"It's Queensland v New South Wales - we're all excited and can't wait to get out there."
Franjic and his teammates only arrived back in Brisbane yesterday after a delayed flight, but the extra time in New Zealand did not bother him one bit.
"There was a lot of team-bonding going on over there which would have made us stronger," he said.
"The boys went out for dinner and lunch, and played a bit of billiards."
Franjic refused to point out Sydney FC maestro Alessandro Del Piero as being a major threat.
Del Piero confused Franjic in a regular-season game last summer, back in February, weaving his way around him to score.
"I think they've got a few quality players there, but we're going to worry about ourselves and try to play the football that we're known for playing," he said.
Franjic said he was sad to see Holger Osieck dumped as the Socceroos' head coach, with the German giving him his start as an international player last year.