A-League not too rough, says Brazilian Bobo
PERTH Glory promise to bring its physical game to Saturday's semi-final against Sydney FC, but Sky Blues marquee striker Bobo has laughed off suggestions that the A-League is a rough-house.
The Brazilian will play his first Australian finals match against Glory, and insists he has already come to terms with the fact that finishing top of the ladder doesn't mean his side is automatically champions.
Bobo is likely to face a powerful contest with Glory centreback Dino Djulbic, whose willingness to contest every ball underpinned Perth's 2-0 win at Melbourne City in the elimination final.
But having spent nine successful seasons in Turkey, Bobo - speaking via a translator - said the A-League was not uniquely physical, despite watching teammate Milos Ninkovic suffer a dangerous tackle from Newcastle Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski in the final round of the regular season.
"I'm used to it," Bobo said.
"It doesn't worry me because in Turkey they were pretty rough as well.
"It's no different here to the way they play elsewhere in the world.
"Perth have a good defence, that's why they are in the semi-finals, but we have to stay focused on the things that have helped us to win many times this season.
"It doesn't matter who we play in the finals, we just have to stay focused."
Sydney captain Alex Brosque has already claimed that Sydney will carry a mental advantage into Saturday's game, after inflicting four defeats on Perth already this season.
The Sky Blues are further bolstered by confirmation from Bobo that Ninkovic was back in training, and would be fit to face Glory after an imperious season for the Sky Blues, culminating in them winning the Premiers' Plate by a record margin.
Sydney had a week off as a result, and Bobo said he had switched focus to the mindset of a finals campaign.
"It's different but I knew already it would be that way - we have been preparing for this for eight months so we were expecting it," he said.
"It's been good to relax and prepare for the finals. It's good but it's dangerous - you can't relax too much."