Luke Brattan believes that the current Melbourne City squad draws parallels to that of his Championship-winning Brisbane Roar side of yesteryear as he prepares for his first Finals Series since returning to Australia.
Brattan, who is on loan at City from Manchester City, played in four Finals Series with Brisbane before moving to England in 2015.
This Sunday, Brattan and his City teammates take on Perth Glory in an Elimination Final at AAMI Park, and the 27-year-old is confident ahead of the biggest game of the campaign.
“I think that this squad is better that the one we had at Brisbane,” said the midfielder.
“It’s hard to say that but the quality we have all over the park is phenomenal and I know that we can do things when we play well and when we all gel together.”
The game comes just one week after City’s 5-4 defeat to Perth in the final game of the regular A-League season, and Brattan admits that it feels strange going into the Finals Series after such an unusual game.
“I went through this [the Finals Series] in Brisbane a fair few times and it’s a different feeling in that we’re going into the finals off the back of a really strange game”, said Brattan, who believes he will be able to draw on his previous Finals Series experiences this weekend.
“In Brisbane, we always had a fair bit of momentum going into the finals. The game in Perth was very very strange, I’ve never been a part of anything like that but to have a clean slate now and concentrate on Sunday is fantastic.
“We’re going to take every opportunity we can to get another piece of silverware,” he added.
Brattan confessed that City will need to improve defensively against the Glory, who have scored 11 goals against City in their three league meetings this season.
“We’re extremely dangerous in the final third but it’s about not conceding goals and defences win games,” he said.
“That’s going to be vital in the finals and we’ll work on that to try to tighten things up at the back.”
The City midfielder is ready for another tough game against Perth, which finished the season as the second highest scorers in the regular A-League campaign.
“They’re physical, there’re dangerous from set pieces and hit teams on the counter,” said Brattan.
“When you’ve got players like (Diego) Castso, (Andy) Keogh and (Adam) Taggart making forward runs they’re going to be dangerous but I think we’re more than capable of stopping them.”
City face Perth on Sunday night at AAMI Park, kick-off 7pm. Click here to secure your place at the match today!