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Wanderers can contain rampant Roar: Clisby

NZN 16/04/2017 Emma Kemp

Defender Jack Clisby has backed Western Sydney's improved defence to contain rampant Brisbane Roar in Friday night's A-League elimination final.

Clisby insists the Wanderers hold no fear as they embark on their fourth finals campaign in five seasons at the intimidating Suncorp Stadium, where they'll attempt to outscore and outlast a side with a penchant for last-gasp goals.

Of particular concern is on-song former Socceroo Brett Holman, who bagged a brace in Sunday's thrilling come-from-behind 4-3 win over Wellington, and is proving lethal in combination with striker Jamie Maclaren.

Holman was also the architect behind the Roar's injury-time winner in January's 2-1 win over the Wanderers at Suncorp.

"Brett Holman's been in good form, and he was the one who scored the winner against us last time so you could say we owe them one," Clisby told AAP.

"He gets into good positions and creates a lot, and he can score a goal from distance as well.

"You can't look past Maclaren either."

Clisby expected the Roar to seek their own revenge for last season's dramatic semi-final exit - an epic 5-4 extra-time Wanderers win at Pirtek Stadium.

However, recent form has fuelled belief that Tony Popovic's sixth-placed outfit can triumph and secure a juicy Sydney derby semi-final the following weekend.

Western Sydney are undefeated in their past six games, while three of their six clean sheets came last month.

They have also conceded an average of just 1.3 goals per game this season, the third best in the league behind premiers Sydney FC (0.44) and second-placed Melbourne Victory (1.15).

They're statistics Clisby says tell the story of an ever-improving understanding in a backline also featuring fellow first-season Wanderer Robbie Cornthwaite, talented youngster Jonathan Aspropotamitis and regular Scott Neville.

"Our defence has been excellent the last month," Clisby said.

"We've been playing good football and a big part of that is the mental side of things.

"Earlier on we were playing well for only about 50-60 minutes and then getting slack towards the end of games.

"But now we're seeing out games better.

"Our concentration is much better so I feel like we'll be able to contain them if we play the way we can."

Popovic fielded a second-string side in Saturday's hard-fought 2-2 draw with Adelaide and is likely to reinstate rested starters Clisby, Neville, Aspropotamitis, Jumpei Kusukami, Mitch Nichols, Terry Antonis, Kearyn Baccus and the key to their fortunes, Brendon Santalab.

"We've relied on Santa this year and he's come up with the goods in a lot of games when we've needed goals," Clisby said.

"As of the last month it's not just been one or two, he's been banging the goals in. He's crucial.

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