Collective effort in Roar's defence

Three clean sheets in five matches is an impressive way for any goalkeeper to start a season but Brisbane Roar’s Michael Theo has been quick to sing the praises of his teammates in what he calls a “collective effort”.

Three clean sheets in five matches is an impressive way for any goalkeeper to start a season but Brisbane Roar-s Michael Theo has been quick to sing the praises of his teammates in what he calls a “collective effort”.

Theo has managed to keep out Sydney FC, Melbourne Heart and last season-s Champions Central Coast Mariners, conceding just twice, and says it comes from a team effort from each player on the pitch.

“It comes from the team - it comes from Bes [Berisha] or Kwame [Yeboah] when they-re up front and it-s the whole team,” Theo said.

“We attack together as a team, we defend together as the team.

“Being the goalkeeper, I may get the plaudits of clean sheets but I know it-s not just me personally.”

After having hip surgery in February, Brisbane skipper Matt Smith missed the tail end of Brisbane-s 2012/13 season but has returned to action in arguably career-best form.

He-s also scored twice in the opening five rounds with regular central defensive partner Jade North chipping in with a vintage goal in round two against Sydney FC.

With North missing last weekend-s win over the Mariners with a groin complaint, youngster James Donachie slotted into the back four and showed composure beyond his years to deal with the pesky Mariners attack.

North is expected to return against Newcastle Jets this Sunday and the Roar line-up could still feature all three defenders in an amended formation with midfielders Ivan Franjic and Matt McKay away on international duties with the Socceroos.

Besart Berisha (hamstring), Liam Miller (calf) and Shane Stefanutto (hamstring) are also still missing due to injury.

“It was great to see James Donachie get his first run of the season. He worked hard throughout the pre-season and it was great he finally got his opportunity,” Theo said.

“Last year, we had our captain Matt Smith out for six months so it-s like a new signing.

“His partnership with Jade North is very solid so from my perspective, I-m pretty fortunate to have some experienced players in front of me.”

Despite the start to the Hyundai A-League campaign which sees the Roar sit top of the table after the opening five rounds, Theo knew not to read too much into the early ladder standings.

“We-re not getting excited or too far ahead, we-ve had a positive start but there-s a lot more improvement in us,” he said.

“We have a few players out and when they come back in, it will only strengthen our team.

“Our mantra over the past few years has been improving on a daily basis and that-s how we see it.

“We are digging deep but in saying that, the boys that are coming into the team are doing the job and that-s all we can ask for.”

Brisbane Roar play Newcastle Jets this Sunday at Hunter Stadium in round six of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season.