Football 2 years ago

'No excuses' for Roar in Cairns

  • 'No excuses' for Roar in Cairns

There will be "no excuses" for Brisbane Roar on Saturday as they prepare to cash in on hot and humid conditions in Cairns against A-League bogey side Wellington Phoenix.

Having last week beaten Melbourne Victory in a comparatively chilly Auckland, the Phoenix face a temperature climb of at least 13 degrees when they take on Brisbane at Cazalys Stadium in the peak of the harsh mid-afternoon sun in far north Queensland.

Professional Footballers Australia is keeping a close eye on the situation amid fears players will be physically drained and the match aesthetically ruined by the extreme conditions, with a forecast of 33 degrees and more than 60 per cent humidity expected.

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But the Roar reckon it will play right into their hands.

While Wellington only arrive on Friday afternoon, Brisbane has been preparing meticulously for weeks to ensure they will have the upper hand.

Leaving little to chance, the Roar's entire first-team squad landed in Cairns on Wednesday night to give them every opportunity to acclimatise, while for the last few weeks, they've been trying to emulate heightened humidity by watering their training pitch.

"There's certainly no complaints or excuses," said Brisbane Roar football operations manager Craig Moore.

"In terms of our planning for this game, we've obviously gone through a lot of detail from the start of the season.

"It is like a home game for us, conditions we should be used to, and we've got to really try and capitalise on that.

"Wellington have got a bit of travelling to do, we've been here a bit earlier - you'd like to think these kind of things will work in our favour, but you've still got to start the game well and do all the right things."

After slipping to fourth in the wake of last weekend's loss to Western Sydney, the Roar need to win to stay in touch with the upper echelons of the ladder.

Only long-term injured pair Michael Theo and Luke DeVere are unavailable, while Wellington will be without Vince Lia (calf), who hasn't pulled up well following his return from a two-month injury layoff at the weekend.

A crowd of between 7,000 and 10,000 is anticipated for what will be the first ever national-level football match in Cairns, and the first A-League clash held north of Brisbane since the demise of the North Queensland Fury.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Brisbane have only lost to Wellington once on home turf (W10, D2), though that loss came in the most recent iteration of this fixture.

* Brisbane have scored exactly one goal in each of their last four A-League fixtures (W1, D2, L1).

* Wellington Phoenix have attempted 159 tackles so far this season, the equal second most of any team in the competition (178 Melbourne City).

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