Brisbane Roar goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos said the squad’s first pre-season loss to Wellington Phoenix was the ‘wake-up call’ it needed ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.
Unbeaten in eight matches, Brisbane travelled to Hamilton on the weekend confident of stretching their pre-season winning streak.
But two well taken first half goals from Paul Ifill and Dylan McAllister paved the way for a 2-1 victory for the New Zealand team.
Matt McKay responded late in the game, threading the ball home after a neat passing movement deep in the Phoenix half.
Despite conceding two goals, Theoklitos said the loss was simply a bump in the road heading towards the season opener against Gold Coast United.
“We-ve been very happy with our progression in our pre-season so far,” the 29 year-old said.
“Things haven-t changed, even if we-d won the game we would still be going along in the same way with the same attitude.
“But saying that, it was a bit of a wake-up call … playing A-League opposition you can-t afford to make those types of mistakes or you will be punished.
“And we learnt a lot more in that game than we have in the past games we played.”
Brisbane-s pre-season takes another step up in intensity when the squad faces off against the might of Everton Football Club at Suncorp Stadium on July 17.
The annual Queensland Roars Against Racism match will provide Brisbane with its toughest pre-season test.
Theoklitos said a result against Everton wasn-t the priority, only making sure past mistakes are not repeated against one of the heavyweights of the English Premier League.
“Everton-s a big side so our expectations for victory aren-t high, so for us it-s just a matter of playing the football we want to play,” he said.
“Whether it-s Wellington, Everton or whoever we play, it-s about what we want to get out of the game.”
Theoklitos also said the match against Everton was another big chance for players to stake their claim in coach Ange Postecoglou’s starting eleven.
Despite joining the Roar with his eyes on the No.1 jersey, Theoklitos has enjoyed the fierce battle for the shot-stopper gloves with Andrew Redmayne and National Youth Team goalkeeper Matt Acton.
“The club-s really fortunate to have three great goalkeepers,” he said. “We push each other in training but we also get along really well.
“You need to have fierce competition to know that if you can-t do the business, somebody capable will step into your shoes.”
Brisbane Roar plays Everton FC in the annual Queensland Roars Against Racism match at Suncorp Stadium on July 17.
Tickets for the match are available through Ticketek on 13 2849 or by visiting the website by clicking here.