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Finals football a completely different game - Brisbane Roar's Paartalu

Brisbane Roar's midfielder general Erik Paartalu understands that finals football can produce varying results so is not counting his chickens before they hatch.

The Roar, currently on a 25-match unbeaten run, take on second-placed Central Coast Mariners in the A-League semi-final first leg at Bluetongue Stadium tomorrow night and Paartalu is treading cautiously in the lead-up.

"We're all aware that the finals series is a different ball-game. It levels the field a little bit more. The real season's finished and it's a clean slate for everyone," he told ABC Grandstand Online.

"I think teams will fancy themselves against us and the main thing for us is to keep doing what we've been doing. Being at the top for so long, people will be keen to knock us off.

"We've been quite dominant. There's no secret to that. We've worked hard and got results in every game almost.

"It would be a shame to not to go all the way and go back on all the things we've worked so hard for this season."

Paartalu returned to Australia at the start of the 2010/11 season from Scotland's Greenock Morton and has enjoyed a brilliantly consistent season, starting all 30 of the Roar's regular season matches. He often takes a backseat in regards to the media side of things and is happy to go about his business whilst leaving the likes of Thomas Broich, Matt McKay, Kosta Barbarouses and Jean Carlos Solorzano to take the plaudits, even after his absolutely cracking goal against Gold Coast United on Saturday night.

"It was nice to contribute to the team," he added.

"Thomas [Broich] played a perfect ball, it sat up nicely and it just went through my head to keep my head down, keep my technique and just hit it.

"It was a great feeling to finish off the season with a cracker."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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