The A-League’s grand final encore is bound to get a little testy, but Roar coach Rado Vidosic says the Glory will be wasting their time if they try to incite the man at the heart of the rematch saga, Besart Berisha.
The feisty Albanian striker won few fans in Perth in the final moments of last season’s decider at Suncorp Stadium. He was controversially felled in the box, celebrated the moment wildly and duly slotted the winning goal.
All of that will ensure he gets a thorough trouncing from the fans at Patersons Stadium on Sunday, while Glory players will also be tempted to have a word to a player who has form when it comes to losing grip of his emotions.
Berisha went off like a firecracker against Sydney FC last season after a verbal altercation with defender Pascal Bosschaart, racing off the field, stripping off his shirt and beckoning Bosschaart to a sideline punch-up.
Ever since, other sides have tried to needle Berisha for a similar reaction but he has done well to maintain the kind of steady focus required to thrive in what will be a hostile environment in the west.
Vidosic said Berisha had learned from his flare-ups in the past and wouldn’t be concerned by any Perth jibes sent in his direction.
He said he would address the likely reception his players would get in Perth but backed his championship-winning group to rise above.
“We’ll probably address it a little bit but, as I said, players have dealt with that before. Besart, last year, has been involved in a few situations. He’s got a good bunch of friends who will help him and hopefully there won’t be any situations that either team will regret,” Vidosic said.
“It’s a football game. We look at this as round one of season eight. This is one of 27 games, we don’t have revenge or anything like that on our minds.
“Every time we play away it’s a tough time. No-one is cheering for us, bar maybe a couple of hundred people who came from Brisbane in their orange strips.
“That’s something players are used to, there won’t be any problems. We can deal with that and it won’t affect our game at all.”
Roar captain Matt Smith said he expected some chatter from the Glory but that only added to a growing rivalry between clubs on the other side of the country.
“We’ve always a been a team that’s been purely focused on the game. That happened last year. For us, it’s just about making sure we get the three points on Sunday,” Smith said.
“Bes is a good player. I think he can handle it. I think it adds to the culture of Australian football. These rivalries will continue in the future.”
Brisbane will make a late call on the fitness of Henrique (heel) and Ivan Franjic (groin), with the pair being given until the last minute to prove their fitness.
Jack Hingert and Nick Fitzgerald trained with the team yesterday and will be the likely replacements.
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