Cahn: Player’s character provides platform to build on

Brisbane Roar Head Coach, Ben Cahn said the character of the playing group gives his side a platform to build on following Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Sydney FC at Suncorp Stadium.

The new Roar Head Coach took charge of the side for the first time in Saturday’s Isuzu UTE A-League Round 11 clash as they were edged out 2-1 by the Sky Blues in a battling display.

Cahn’s side endured a difficult opening to the contest with Fabio Gomes putting Sydney 1-0 up inside a minute before adding a second with a flicked finish in the 41st minute.

Down but not out, Roar hit back just minutes later when Mileusnic slammed home a finish from a tight angle after a brilliant through ball from Florin Berenguer to halve the deficit heading into the break.

Roar continued to grow in the second half and enjoyed the lions share of possession but were unable to find a finishing touch, coming closest with a point-blank Tom Aldred chance in stoppage time, that the Roar skipper was unable to direct either side of Andrew Redmayne.

Speaking post-match, Cahn said while Saturday’s match signalled progress, there is a lot more to come from his side.

“The early goal really hurt us and it changed the complexion of the game, the second one hurt us as well, but the fight and the character that the boys showed to try and get back into the game was fantastic.

“The goal that Nikola (Mileusnic) scored was outstanding, second half was very, very good but we just didn’t create enough.

“There was definitely a lot of progress, I think if you look at where we were a week ago in the result and the performance and to where we were today.

“We were competitive but we’re not here to hang in games and lose games 2-1, we’re here to win and try and be the best we can and make finals and see what we can do.”

Cahn added the character of the playing group provides his side with a platform to build on heading into next week’s clash against Newcastle.

“One-nil that early was a challenge, two-nil at the timing of that goal was a real challenge for the character and strength of this group,” Cahn said.

“I’ve said all along since I’ve been here, they’ve been through a lot, they’ve had a lot of disruption over the past few weeks and however that’s played out and today they showed that they’re strong, they’re ready to fight and if we can build on that it’s a nice platform.”

“The injury list is high and it’s a concern, once we start getting those players back in it’s a really top squad.

“We can compete at the top end of this league, you saw that today with a depleted squad, having to make forced changes we were very good in the second half.

“So absolutely, we’re looking forward to getting some big players back and making sure they can help us and assist us in what we want to do.”

Saturday’s match at Suncorp Stadium was attended by 10,115 supporters – the club’s highest home attendance of the 2023/24 Isuzu UTE A-League season.

Cahn said his would give everything reward Roar fans for their unwavering support.

“It meant everything. We spoke about it with the players and staff, we all had the same thoughts that after last week – we weren’t really sure what to expect,” Cahn said.

“Seeing the support today and hearing the noise and listening to the positivity and enthusiasm it’s essential in driving us on and we will do everything we can to deliver for them moving forward and we need them to help us do that.”

Isuzu UTE A-League Men 2023/24 – Round 11: Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC
Suncorp Stadium, Milton
Saturday, 6 January

Brisbane Roar – 1 (Nikola MILEUSNIC 45+3’)
Sydney FC – 2 (Fabio GOMES 1’ 41’)