Fowler: We’re a better team now


Head Coach Robbie Fowler has laid down the challenge ahead of tonight’s Round 17 clash at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium against Sydney FC.

The Roar’s last away defeat came against the ladder-leaders at the same venue in Round 9, but have since gone unbeaten in five of their last six games.

Fowler is confident his players have taken on board feedback from their previous clash in preparation for Friday.

“We’re a better team now than what we were a month ago. You could speak to the Sydney [FC players] & they know that that wasn’t as easy game as what the score line suggests,” Fowler said on Thursday.

“Towards the second-half, we still could get in again and we probably left ourselves a little too open at the back and conceded two on the counter.

“I’ve done a little bit of watching of that game and I think I’m being harsh on the lads. It looks like a horrendous result, and it is in terms of the score, but I don’t think we were actually that bad in terms of performance.


The Roar’s defence has been pivotal in recent weeks with the squad recording back-to-back clean sheets.

“If you can keep clean sheets you have more chance of not losing games. Primarily that’s what we want to do,” Fowler continued.

“When you look at where we are now to what we were last year, the team was conceding goals left, right & centre. We knew we had to get that right & we’ve been a bit better.

“We know that we can have a lot of the ball but it’s just a case of trying to hurt them with chances created.”

The Roar have been boosted by the return of Aiden O’Neill who has been named in the extended squad for Friday’s match.

Fowler labelled O’Neill’s last outing against the Jets as his “best game” in orange, but that the 21-year-old won’t walk into the side with the squad having built plenty of depth.


“He’s only had a few days to be fair. Obviously he’s all excited. I think that what they’ve achieved has been fantastic,” he added.

“Getting an Aussie team to the Olympics for the first time in a very long time is good for him and it’s good for the bunch of lads who went over. It’ll boost morale.

“We’ve got options. His last game before he went away was probably the best game he’s played. Unfortunately there’s other players who have come in and done a reasonably good job. Will he start? It’ll be tough for him.”

Hyundai A-League 2019/20 – Round 17: Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar FC
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Friday, 31 January (7:30pm local, 6:30pm QLD)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Patrick FLOTTMANN, 4.Alex WILKINSON (c), 6.Ryan McGOWAN, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam LE FONDRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 16.Joel KING, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Luke IVANOVIC, 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE, 21.Harry VAN DER SAAG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Marco TILIO, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Jordi SWIBEL, 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF, 29. Anton MLINARIC **2-4 to be omitted**

 Ins: 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (return from international duty), 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (gk) (return from injury), 24.Marco TILIO (promoted), 27.Jordi SWIBEL (promoted), 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF (promoted), 29. Anton MLINARIC (promoted)
Outs: 5.Alex BAUMJOHANN (suspended – 2 matches), 30.Adam PAVLESIC (gk) (return to NYL squad)
Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (ACL), 7. Michael ZULLO (calf), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee)


Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Max CROCOMBE (gk), 2.Scott NEVILLE, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Tom ALDRED (c), 6.Macaulay GILLESPHEY, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 10.Bradden INMAN, 12.Aiden O’NEILL, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Aaron AMADI-HOLLOWAY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Jake MCGING, 23.Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 25.Rahmat AKBARI, 26.Jay O’SHEA, 27.Kai TREWIN, 28.Izaack POWELL, 30.Mirza MURATOVIC, 77.Scott MCDONALD **2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 12.Aiden O’NEILL (returns from international duty), 27.Kai TREWIN ( promoted), 28.Izaack POWELL (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 29.Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS (knee – TBC)

Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew McOrist
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

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