Goalkeeper Michael Theo is hoping to maintain his strong form as Brisbane Roar prepare to meet the Wanderers for the first time since last season’s epic Semi Final on Friday night.
Injuries have limited Theo’s game time over the past two campaigns, but he says it’s a great feeling being able to contribute on the pitch once again.
“It’s the worst thing watching the boys out there and not being able to contribute,” Theo said.
“It’s part of being a professional footballer and it’s all about how you react to adversity.
“It’s been a positive start this year and it’s been great to be back out there this year at Suncorp Stadium in front of our great supporters.”
The 35-year-old has played every minute of the Roar’s Hyundai A-League campaign to date and made a number of crucial saves during Saturday’s night 1-1 draw with Sydney FC.
Theo was called upon a number of times during the first half and made a crucial block against Sky Blues’ striker Bernie Ibini in the closing moments of the match to keep the scores locked.
The experienced goalkeeper says the squad know that they’re capable of stronger performances and that there is plenty of improvement to come as the season progresses.
“They [Sydney FC] played well and we probably weren’t up to the standard that we know we’re capable of,” he said.
“We’re only seven games into the season so we’re all still finding our feet and as a team we’re focusing on continually improving.”
The Roar now turn their attention to Friday’s clash against Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium, a venue that the Roar have never played at.
Brisbane and Western Sydney have created a strong rivalry in recent seasons, meeting each other in three of the last four Finals Series including last season’s memorable 5-4 Semi Final as well as the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League Grand Final.
Theo admits he enjoys the atmosphere inside the Wanderers’ former home of Parramatta Stadium and expects no different in Western Sydney’s temporary home venue.
“Their supporters will all still be there so we need to make sure we keep them quiet by playing our brand of football and hopefully scoring some goals,” Theo said.
“[The rivalry] has built over the years and playing against each other in grand finals definitely assists that.
“We’ve had some great games over the years. We’re looking forward to this weekend and expecting a tough challenge.”
Brisbane currently sit in third position on the Hyundai A-League ladder, three places higher than Friday’s opponents.
Despite taking just one victory from their opening seven games, Theo says the ladder isn’t an accurate indication of the quality in the Wanderers side under Tony Popovic.
“They’re playing some good football but probably without the results they would like,” he said.
“I’ve said before that in this league every game is difficult. There’s never an easy game and this weekend against the Wanderers is going to be no different.”