Shane Stefanutto has called on his fellow Brisbane Roar defenders to work harder as they prepare for Saturday’s Hyundai A-League Round 4 encounter against Adelaide United FC at Suncorp Stadium (6.30pm kick off).
The experienced left back resumed full training this week after a month off with a calf injury.
And his return coincided with a focus at training this morning on defensive structures as the Roar strives for their first clean sheet of the season.
The Roar started with 3-1 and 2-1 wins over Western Sydney and Central Coast respectively then went down 3-2 to Wellington Phoenix last Saturday after clawing back to 2-2.
“We are extremely pleased that we scored two goals away from home but we conceded three unfortunately. As a back group we need to tighten up there,” Stefanutto said.
“We want to keep improving. If we sit there and go two wins from the first three is good, that’s not what it’s about.
“It’s about the improvement we still have in us and continue to have throughout the season.
“We’ve got goals in us, we play an attacking brand of football.
“Our aim as a team is to go out there and keep clean sheets . . . that’s why we want to keep improving and become an Italian-like defence that is scarcely letting in goals.
“We have high expectations at this club. We expect that of each other. Out there (at training) we are working as hard as we can to rectify this.”
Stefanutto finished today’s session strongly but conceded he had more work ahead.
“I felt fine out there but I haven’t played a game yet. Training is one thing, a game is another,” he said.
“I am just excited to be back out there, part of this club and contributing what ever way I am required.”
The former Socceroo defender (three caps), who has 111 Hyundai A-League and 10 AFC Champions League appearances for the Roar, says as much as he detests time on the sidelines, it had enabled him in recent weeks to view the improvement in the side from last season.
“As a team, I am really impressed with the brand of football we’re playing, It has been great,” he said.
“This is what the Brisbane Roar way was always. It is not about an individual, it is about the team.
“We worked extremely hard in pre-season, the boys are fantastically fit and now you hope that hard work pays off with results in the season.”
Although Adelaide have started the new season with two draws and a loss last weekend, and are yet to net an individual goal, Stefanutto says the Reds are a side packed with quality players.
“They are a dangerous side and we won’t be underestimating them,” he said.
Saturday night’s game has a Halloween theme with members and fans encouraged to dress up in costumes. Four adult tickets are available at a discounted $100 using the password bignight
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