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Brisbane Roar a complete team: Okon

AAP logoAAP 16/12/2016 Vince Rugari

Paul Okon reckons Brisbane Roar are a complete team and has warned his Central Coast Mariners not to stumble into their trap in Sunday's A-League encounter in Gosford.

Okon hailed the Roar as the competition's best team at forcing opposition turnovers, putting his troops on high alert as they aim to snap out of a disappointing two-game losing run.

Renowned for their previous success with a high-possession style, Brisbane coach John Aloisi's tweaked gameplan means they've been happy to give up control of the ball on occasion this season, backing their ability to win the ball back in good areas to generate attacking chances instead.

Melbourne City coach John van 't Schip criticised the Roar earlier this month for "parking the bus" but Okon sees it differently.

"They're a complete team. They're very good when they have the ball and when they don't. I just think the Roar defend very well from the front," Okon told AAP.

"It may look like a transition because they win the ball higher up the field and then, bang - I don't think it's a typical (counter-attacking style), drop off at halfway, win the ball in your own half.

"The Roar's probably the best team in the competition at defending higher up the field."

Unbeaten in their last five and coming off a 4-0 rout over Adelaide United, the Roar won 1-0 earlier this season to extend a six-game winning streak over the Mariners.

Aloisi was adamant his team didn't discuss streaks but acknowledged their last loss - a round-two 4-0 thumping by Newcastle - was a turning point that showed the Roar's strong character.

For that reason he said complacency would never again be an issue, especially against a Mariners side keen to rebound from two heavy losses to Wellington and Western Sydney.

"They're playing at home and they'll want to win for their supporters," Aloisi said.

"They've got dangerous players going forward, and they like to keep the ball and tire you out."

Okon is desperate for revenge over Aloisi, his former Socceroo teammate and good friend.

The pair's playing careers followed similar trajectories - both left Australia at a young age for Belgium, played in Italy and England, featured regularly for the Socceroos throughout the 1990s and enjoyed swansongs in the A-League.

"I roomed a few times with Johnny, played against him in Belgium. We've known each other since we were young teenagers, and Ross also," Okon said.

"There's a big respect there. There's always a laugh, that's how it's always been - although I know Johnny's very intense and serious these days, now he's a coach.

"You always want to beat a mate of yours."

STATS THAT MATTER

* Central Coast have made more passes than any other team and boast the second-best passing accuracy (80.3%) behind Melbourne City (80.5%)

* Brisbane have conceded just two first-half goals overall, the fewest of any team, while no team has conceded more than the Mariners (11)

* The Roar kept a clean sheet in each of their last three visits to Central Coast Stadium

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