It’s red, black and noisy but Brisbane Roar are confident they’ve learned to cope with the intense atmosphere that comes with playing Western Sydney at Parramatta Stadium.
The A-League leaders head south this weekend to take on the Wanderers at a ground where the home team has only lost twice in their past 18 matches and the Roar are yet to claim a win.
Tony Popovic’s men beat the Roar twice in Parramatta last season, including a 2-0 finals win that ended Brisbane’s campaign.
Although the Roar picked up a 1-1 draw in the previous outing at “Wanderland”, they’re still yet to keep a clean sheet against Western Sydney.
Veteran Roar defender Shane Stefanutto believes that draw in February shows he and his teammates are coming to grips with the full-on atmosphere Wanderers fans generate.
“It’s a tough place to go. There’s no doubting that,” Stefanutto said.
“Good crowd, lots of noise but I think we’re getting used to it now. The boys are a lot calmer.”
Brisbane’s scorer in that draw was Besart Berisha.
The Roar will be without the Albanian for this weekend’s clash however after he was banned for one match following his red card in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Melbourne Heart.
Stefanutto said, although Berisha has now been sent off three times this season, his teammates don’t want their volatile striker to tone down his play approaching finals.
“Bes plays with passion and we love that about him. We love his enthusiasm, he works so hard for us,” Stefanutto said.
“We don’t want Bes to change his ways. We want that passion, that energy and that excitement.”