Derby focus: Pride’s confidence to match Knights threat
AS someone cautious about extra local derby pressure, Andrew Catton is showing his latest rivals plenty of deserved respect.
The Western Pride head coach knows the Ipswich Knights have multiple attacking threats his team will need to shut down in Saturday night's keenly-awaited showdown between the regional clubs.
"There's a lot of experience in there and Oggy (Knights head coach Andy Ogden) is a really good operator,'' Catton said preparing for the encounter on Pride's home turf at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
"I'm sure he's going to have them set up really, really well.
"It's certainly one where if we don't turn up, they'll put plenty on us because they've got lots of attacking outlets up top.
"They have got lots of goals in them and they are quite creative.''
However, such challenges are what can bring out the best in Western Pride, especially with their own form players like latest hat-trick hero Nathan Yoon.
He was named the Football Queensland Premier League team of the week after his three-goal goal against Souths United in Pride's previous clash.
"It's good for Yoonie. He's been trying hard,'' Catton said, of the skilful player secured through a friendship with Pride skipper Adam Sawyer.
"He's pretty much a confidence player. We were pretty sure once he got one, he'd jag a few.
"To get them all in one game is good.''
Catton said the quiet and mild-mannered Yoon was proving a valuable addition in a young Pride side.
"He's a great lad and the sort of bloke we want around the club,'' the head coach said.
"He's spent a lot of time at the Roar. He trained with the Roar senior side for a long time. "He's done a fair bit for a young bloke.
"He's always positive and works hard.''
Catton expected to name a strong line-up for the encounter after a more settled week of training following a tough fortnight before that.
"We're tracking along with no disruptions which is nice,'' he said.
"We haven't had a mid-week game or anything like that. It's just been a hassle-free week at the moment, touch wood.''
Apart from monitoring his skipper Sawyer with a knee knock, Catton said "we are generally okay''.
But don't expect the asute coach to get too overwhelmed by tackling the Knights.
"As important as the derby is to a lot of people - and you certainly have to respect that - for us, it's just more about continuing that little bit of positivity that we got out of those couple of good results in our last two games (wins over Souths United and Southside Eagles).
"We just need to build on that.
"At this point, we want the performance and hopefully the rest of it takes care of itself.''
Catton hopes being back at home provides a more settled preparation.
"There's a good vibe about them and they're excited any time we get to play at Briggs Road because it's some of the away grounds we go to aren't the best,'' he said.
Whether at home or at the Knights Bundamba base, Catton expects free-flowing football on Ipswich's well maintained playing fields.
"Whenever we play Knights, you can't go and blame the surface or anything like that because Briggs Road and Eric Evans Oval are both exceptional venues,'' he said.
FQPL: Saturday (7pm) - Western Pride v Ipswich Knights at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
CL1: Saturday (5pm) - Ipswich City v Annerley at Sutton Park. Sunday (5pm): Western Spirit v Brisbane Athletic at Pinkenba Reserve.
CL2: Sunday (6pm) - Ripley Valley v Westside Grovely at Grovelly Sports ground.
CL3: Sunday (6pm) - Springfield United v Logan Village at Big River Country Park.