Smith: It’s been a long time coming

Brisbane Roar Liberty A-League Head Coach, Alex Smith shared his thoughts with the media following Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix at Perry Park.

Goals from Tameka Yallop and Kijah Stephenson sealed Smith’s first win at the helm and moved Roar to within three points of the fourth placed Phoenix.

On the match:

“Happy with the performance, happy with the fight at the end, we didn’t look like we were going to let them score which was really pleasing to see.

It’s been a long time coming but you know it’s all part of the process and yeah, just happy to get three points.”

On his half time team talk and fast start to the second half:

“I wish I could give myself that much credit. But look we just gave the girls a couple of pointers as to how to hurt them and did it straight away which was which was fantastic and we probably should have scored a few more as well.”

On Jordan Silkowitz’s impact:

“Jord is fantastic, she’s a fantastic keeper, she’s a great professional. Really, really happy to have her here.

She saved us a couple of times in the first half, but once we got our act together we started to play some good stuff and we’re really, really pleased with the second half.”

On Holly McQueen returning to the side:

“She was fantastic especially towards the end there, last ditch defending and doing everything she could to not let anybody score, so really pleased with her.

I thought the back five worked pretty well with a sort of a new lease on life and a new attitude.

Pleased with the performance but obviously still a long way to go and a lot of improvements to come.”

On his side pushing for a third goal:

“The old saying that the best form of defence is a good offense, I don’t like when teams kind of try and shut up shop, although we did waste a good five or six minutes in the corner there so that was quite impressive.

We could have put the game to bed with 10 or 15 minutes to go but we didn’t unfortunately, but three points is all that matters at the end of a game.”

On playing with a back five:

“I think tactically with Wellington we matched up just a little bit better, we’ve had a few injuries as well, all these things kind of add up to what you’re doing but you know we’ve certainly changed the mindset of the players and the way that we’re pressing and the way that we’re playing.

I thought that combined with the new structure, sort of combined really well and got us the three points.”

On preparation leading into next week’s Unite Round clash against Newcastle:

“Same as any game, it was supposed to be a home game, but unlucky us we get to go to Sydney again.

Newcastle, coming off a draw with Canberra and I’ve said it before any team in this league can beat anybody, it’s really crazy this year so we’ll prepare as we do for every opponent and do our analysis and get ready for them during the week.”

Liberty A-League Women 2023/24 – Round 11: Brisbane Roar vs Wellington Phoenix
Perry Park, Brisbane
Sunday, 7 January

Brisbane Roar – 2 (Tameka YALLOP 34′, Kijah STEPHENSON 46′)
Wellington Phoenix – 1 (Isabella COX 20′)