Adelaide United have more reasons that usual to be wary of Brisbane Roar in Thursday's A-League fixture, Reds striker George Blackwood says.
Blackwood believes the Roar's appointment of Robbie Fowler as coach and impending retirement of club stalwart Matt McKay will galvanise Brisbane.
But Blackwood says Adelaide can only focus on themselves and banking a win to secure a home final in the first week of the playoffs.
The fourth-placed Reds hold a one-point break from fifth-placed Wellington, who meet pacesetters Perth Glory in their last round match.
The Reds and Phoenix are likely to meet in a cut-throat final the following week with Blackwood desperate for Adelaide to host.
"Playing in front of your home fans is amazing, especially for a home final," he told reporters on Tuesday.
"The difference between playing at Wellington and playing at Coopers (Stadium in Adelaide) is massive because of the travel and everything involved."
But the United frontman said his team must keep a narrow focus: beating Brisbane in McKay's last game and with new coach Fowler looking on.
"We just focus on ourselves," Blackwood said.
"We know how they play and what they like and who their dangermen are and we're ready to go there and take the three points.
"It doesn't really matter what they do, it's up to us and what we do.
"Robbie Fowler is going to be in there, Matt McKay is retiring, so it's going to be tough - we're not taking them lightly."
Adelaide enter the fixture on an upward curve - after a winless five-game stretch, they're now on a four-match unbeaten streak.
"It was always just a matter of time before we started stringing a few results together," Blackwood said.
"And we have done it at the right end of the season, we are going into the finals very strong as a team and we're confident."
Australian Associated Press