Liberty A-League Head Coach Alex Smith reflected on the positive shift within the playing group after a victory over Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, but said that despite the pleasing signs, there’s still a lot to improve on moving forward.
“It’s been good, it’s amazing what three points does to a group. Everybody is buzzing, I’m just pleased for the girls, they finally got some reward for all the effort we’ve been putting in at training. We’re really looking forward to the weekend,” Smith said.
“Anything that’s worth while takes a bit of time, we’ve been working very hard for a couple of months now, so I think you are starting to see it. We still have a lot to improve on, but I felt the weekend was the most total performance we’ve put in since I’ve been here so pleasing signs but that is when we’ve got to work even harder and keep improving every single week.”
Smith feels as though the squad has turned a corner after breaking an eight-game winless streak and is now focused on securing back-to-back wins in Unite Round against the Jets.
“It’s all about points on the board now. I feel like we’ve turned a bit of a corner, now it’s about really hammering home the dominant periods that we do have during games and taking chances. We’ve been creating a lot which, as a coach, is a very important thing,” he said.
“If you’re not creating, then you worry a little bit but we’re definitely creating enough chances to win. It’s about us taking those opportunities and looking forward to Newcastle this weekend.”
He anticipates a high-pressing playing style from Newcastle and has therefore been working with his squad to prepare and ensure a full performance is given at Leichhardt Oval.
“They’re a high-pressing team, Gary [van Egmond] has got them running a lot and pressing quite a bit so it’s something we’ve got to be conscious about but I’m confident we have the players to deal with that.”
“A few things tactically that we’ll be able to do that will hopefully stand us in good stead. I’ve said it before, in this league, this year, anybody can take on anybody, so we have to be switched on from the first whistle and ready for any game this season.”
Liberty A-League Women 2023/24 – Round 12: Brisbane Roar vs Newcastle Jets
Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Saturday, 13 January (6:45pm KO)