Ben Cahn picked up his first win as Brisbane Roar Head Coach with a thrilling come from behind 3-2 victory over Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium on Sunday evening.
A Jay O’Shea brace along with Jonas Markovski’s first A-League goal sees Roar close back in on the competition’s top six and move to within a point of fourth placed Central Coast Mariners.
Cahn fronted the media to discuss, Sunday’s victory, the January transfer window and looked ahead to Thursday’s clash against Macarthur at Suncorp Stadium.
On Sunday’s victory over the Jets:
“We can’t shy away from the fact that the first half was poor, we struggled to get ourselves into the game. At the stage of the season that we’re at and you know what everybody’s been through in the last few weeks, we had to find a way to win and the boys showed immense character today.
We obviously had to do some things tactically to come back into the game but really it was down to the players and what they showed inside them and as a group and how much they wanted to get a result.”
On his half time team talk:
“I think it was obvious that we struggled to press, we struggled to win the ball back, we struggled in just about everything to be honest you know, the build up was slow, there was a lack of dynamism in the front third.
We asked for more bravery in possession, more movement, more forward runs, more runs from deep but the big tweaks were to stop them having the control they had in the first half and we adjusted our press and our out of possession structure and luckily we had some success.”
On his first win as BRFC Head Coach:
“I’m very happy obviously, but my job’s to look at the performance and the reality is two weeks in a row we could have been four or five nil down in the first half so that’s my concern at the moment and we’ve got a big job ahead of us to make sure that we start games better and with more control.
It’s definitely a work in progress and these things take time, it’s the first time I haven’t had a pre-season with the team, so that’s a new experience and a new challenge for me but I have to tell you the boys were absolutely outstanding this week at training and although it didn’t necessarily show in the first half, it gave the foundation and the platform for us to go on and do what we did in the second.”
On the character of the playing group:
“This is a group with immense character and resilience, what they’ve been through in recent weeks and months and the ones that have been here for longer you know for two or three years they’ve developed a real resilience, they’re a strong group.
One thing I know about this group and they know about each other is while they’re in a game you can’t count them out and the mentality at 2-2. I spoke very quickly to Tom Aldred and Jay O’Shea and said what do you want to do? Do you want to go and win it or should we should we play for the point and they both without hesitation said let’s go and win it.
I think if you keep losing games back-to-back, very quickly that resilience can dissolve because no one likes to lose games of football, so winning in this run of games was very important for us and the feeling in there’s very good right now.
We’ll take the positives from the last two weeks, the confidence they’ve got from knowing that they can grind games out now and we’ll improve as best we can so we’re ready for Macarthur on Thursday.”
On Florin Berenguer:
“He’s okay, he flagged that to us before it turned into anything. I would imagine he’ll be okay, just a little bit sore, but we’ll know more obviously as the days go on.”
On ambitions for the remainder of the season:
“We’re here to compete at the top end this year, we’re not here just to see the season out and move on we’re here to do something special this season.
“We have to keep training, we have to do the work on the training pitch and that takes time. We’ve obviously got a short turn around now until Macarthur, so it’s recover play but we just have to keep chipping away in our preparation. We have a big list of players coming back and not far off being available and we’re obviously looking to recruit in the window as well.
On plans for the January transfer window:
“We’ve already brought Keegan Jelacic in and obviously Lethlean as well, so two big pickups for us and as importantly as the other players we bring in, it’s the list of players coming back from injury.
Like all clubs in Australian football or around the world, you come in and there are constraints and limitations you work with what you’ve got, but the club have been outstanding. They’re hungry, ambitious and we’re all working together to try and strengthen this squad.”
On what Keegan Jelacic brings to the side:
“He’s an exceptional ball carrier, he’s a great athlete,he’ll add the dynamism that I spoke about, that we lacked in the first half, good forward runs and he’s not a player that you want to play against defensively because he asks a lot of questions, he can run in behind, he can run at you with the ball, so he’ll give us a new dimension and some added dynamics to how we want to play.
You could see especially first half, we found it hard to create and bringing players like Keegan in will allow us to try to be more unpredictable and open teams up a little bit more.”
On Jonas Markovski’s impact:
“The goal is massive for him and it’s a big weight off his shoulders, he was very happy with that but you have to look at the performance he gave us today as well. He brought energy out of possession, he pressed really well, he recovered and defended with the team, he held the ball up, he was a presence, he managed to work the channels and get a couple of near assists. It was a strong performance, the goal is the icing on the cake.
All these players are in contention and I’ve only been in the job less than two weeks, so it’s up to them to show in training and then the opportunities they get in games that they’re ready to start.”
Isuzu UTE A-League Men 2023/24 – Unite Round: Brisbane Roar v Newcastle Jets
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Sunday, 14 January
Brisbane Roar – 3 (Jay O’SHEA 61’ 90’, Jonas MARKOVSKI 82’)
Newcastle Jets – 2 (Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS 18’, Phillip CANCAR 65’)