Thomas Broich speaks softly and carefully as his sips his espresso. It’s a chilly evening outside in Japan but the power and passion in the German’s words reflect the building inferno of determination within the Roar squad.
With Brisbane’s next AFC Champions League game just 24 hours away – against the enormously popular Urawa Red Diamonds – Japanese fans are focused on every word coming out of the Roar camp.
But these Broich comments are clearly aimed for general consumption back in Australia.
“The amount of times people have written off Brisbane Roar because of a few bad results or poor performances, doesn’t interest me,” he says.
“The fact that we had to go through a bad spell doesn’t mean at all that we are past our best.
“In the past this team has proven time and again we can turn things around in one game or even when it comes to an entire season.”
Recent results support Broich’s unwavering belief that too many were too quick to write off the reigning Champions because of the early season turmoil which now seems like distant and irrelevant history.
The Roar are unbeaten in the Hyundai A-League since the AFC Asian Cup break and have lost only once in their last eight games. Despite six of those eight being on the road, the Roar have found the net 13 times.
They went down 0-1 in their Champions League opener last Wednesday against Beijing Guoan but dominated the game and were cruelly punished by a deflected stoppage time free kick.
As the Roar prepares to face a proud Urawa side in ACL2015 Match Day Two, Broich believes Brisbane is on the cusp of a powerful late season rally.
“I am really, really confident in the team at this point of time,” he says.
“We have signed a few great players to help us for the remainder of the season. We have had a few injuries and we have a few players that are not fully match fit at the moment and already we are playing some decent football.
“We are not quite flying yet but there are so many promising signs now in terms of possession-based football that we are playing and in terms of the balance we have in the team structure-wise.
“What we have been doing in the past, it just works for us. The success we had was a consequence of that . . . it is really about getting that back into every game and every training session in the run to the end of the season and beyond.”
Broich says it is not for him to say whether criticism aimed at him personally by some pundits earlier in the season was correct or incorrect.
“I am well aware I’m running out of arguments when we are performing poorly but deep down I always knew as a team, and me personally, we were not too far off,” he says.
“I am not basing my judgment on short-term events I am looking at the bigger, longer-term picture. A team or any individual does not go from the top of the league to being average in just a few months.
“I feel fit, I feel very passionate about my football, I’ve got two more years on my contract and who knows how many more to come.
“I firmly believe The Roar and myself have many exciting and successful weeks and years ahead of us.”
Broich sees the Champions League games as a further step in the Roar taking its game to a new level. And whatever they achieve in this year’s campaign, it can only enhance the club’s chances of defending their Hyundai A-League Championship, he says.
“Champions League is a massive opportunity for us to develop as a team. The games are quicker, the opposition are smarter, more gifted technically . . . you get better when you play against better teams,” Broich says.
“All those people that had written us off after seven games. Let them do what they do best but let us do what we do best. I have a lot of belief in this squad.
“We have to put in a lot of work, especially over the next few months with all these midweek games, but with our current mentality and with the experience in the squad I believe we can beat any team in a one-off game.
“So provided we make the finals there is a good chance for us to go all the way again.”