Brisbane Roar will take renewed confidence into an important Round 6 clash with Western Sydney Wanderers in Liberty A-League action on Sunday.
The Roar return to Moreton Daily Stadium a week on from their outstanding come-from-behind win over Melbourne Victory, the potential catalyst for a surge up the table.
Head Coach Garrath McPherson said it was a relief to secure three points following a series of near misses throughout the opening weeks.
“We felt we’d been very close to closing out two or three of our previous games and learnt some pretty harsh lessons,” McPherson said.
“We kept going on the training pitch and kept working on areas of the game to help us close out matches.
“It was nice to finally get a win. It was nice to beat Melbourne in Melbourne. Even in my previous role as an assistant coach, it was something we hadn’t done.”
The win was even more special for exciting young prospects Mia Bailey and Lanni McDougall, who made their Liberty A-League debuts.
The pair were handed starting XI spots and McPherson said Roar fans can expect to see more talent emerge as the season continues.
“The league is about winning games and that’s what the club wants,” he said.
“The club has built a history on winning games and trophies. That’s what we want to do. But it’s about that balance of short-term and long-term success.
“A player like Mia Bailey, or Lanni, or Ellen Gett, or Heidi Dennis who we may see on the team sheet at 16 years old – they are the future.
“Not just of Brisbane Roar Football Club, we believe they are the future of the national team as well.
“Part of their learning is to get experience in those games and those moments that allow them to grow and develop.”
As for immediate matters, the aim is to keep the winning momentum going against a Western Sydney side that has drawn three and lost one of its first four fixtures.
One challenge Brisbane will have to overcome is a schedule impacted by the constantly evolving COVID landscape.
“We’ve had another disjointed training week with the COVID situation and the testing,” McPherson said.
“No injuries to report but we do have two or three players who are unable to be part of the matchday squad this week.”
Liberty A-League Round 6
Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday, 9 January 2022
Moreton Daily Stadium
Gate 2 opens at 2:20pm
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