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HAL HYSTERIA...Ange says Roar have something to prove to pundits
BRISBANE Roar coach Ange Postecoglou says a negative perception of his side's grand final qualifying win over Central Coast has provided extra motivation ahead of the decider.
With an endurance-sapping trip to Korea for an AFC Champions League game in between, the Roar took their two-leg major semi-final with the Mariners 5-2 on aggregate, clinching the result with a 3-2 win at Bluetongue Stadium.
But while the Roar's achievement of qualifying for consecutive grand finals was lauded, a share of the media spotlight went to a refereeing blunder which led to Brisbane's first goal, and some nervous moments under pressure from the reigning champions.
Speaking at the launch of Brisbane's 'Orange Sunday II' grand final launch, Postecoglou was shaking his head at the lack of recognition in some quarters.
"From my point of view, I don't need to pump (the team) up too much, because I think looking at some of the analysis of last week's game - that we only got lucky and had some referees help - should mean the boys are really worked up for the grand final," he said.
"(There's been) a little bit of hysteria. It was two games that see who gets to the grand final first, we won both of them, scored five goals, and people are talking about one referee's decision.
"I don't think people realise the enormity of what we achieved last weekend and that's why I'm annoyed at the commentary after the game.
"If they had have seen what those players had to go through in those seven days – they've played two of the biggest games of the year against the minor premiers plus having to travel and play a fantastic team from Korea and coming through that winning the two games that mattered most was just an enormous effort."
Brisbane's second consecutive qualification for the A-League decider has come at the end of a bumpier journey than their scything run through 2011, when they went undefeated and unfettered from the fifth round.
Postecoglou said departures in the off-season, the challenges overcome and the perseverance he had witnessed from his playing group meant that he expected a grand final win would prove more satisfying the second time around.
"While we did a major rebuild in year one, it was a real challenge to see whether we could replace some pretty significant players and the fact that we were the hunted right from day one," he said.
"To come through all that and be able to host the grand final... I think I said it already that I think if we pull it off this year it'll be even more satisfying than last year.
"I know it's the second one but it doesn't make it any less exciting, if anything, the players that were there last year and want to come back and the ones who weren't there are desperate to be there, because it will be another memorable occasion.
"We're going to make it exciting and as long as we win I'm sure it'll be memorable again."