Roar facing United in final as self-proclaimed underdogs
BRISBANE Roar winger Ivan Franjic has been quick to claim the underdog status ahead of Sunday's elimination final against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The two-time defending champions may have needed to beat Sydney on Thursday night to earn a shot at a three-peat, but the Roar seem rejuvenated since Mike Mulvey replaced Rado Vidosic as head coach in December.
One of the key changes that has worked for Mulvey was switching defender Ivan Franjic to the wing.
The 25-year-old has knocked in two goals in his new role, including a bender David Beckham would have been proud of in the 3-1 victory over Sydney FC on Thursday night.
Franjic said while confidence and fitness levels at the Roar were very high, Adelaide would go in as favourites after being near the top of the A-League ladder all season.
"It's a different belief this season - we'll go into the finals as underdogs which we'll enjoy, after we were expected to win in the past two seasons," Franjic said.
The Croation said he was pleased with how his move up the ground had worked out, particularly the combinations he has established with the likes of defender Jack Hingert and stars Besart Berisha and Thomas Broich.
It has worked so well that talented youngster Ben Halloran has been relegated to the bench.
"Ben Halloran is a fantastic player, but me and Jack seem to be linking up really well at the moment," Franjic said.
"Me and Besart seem to know each other's movements well too, and Thomas has been great on the left side."
Mulvey admitted he had teased Franjic about the number of goals he would score in his new role, the pair enjoying some friendly banter after Thursday night's pearler.
"He was quick to drive home the fact that I told him I didn't think he could get two goals for the season," Mulvey said.