They played a key role in defending our lead in a courageous second-half display against Adelaide United on Saturday and defensive duo Luke DeVere and Jacob Pepper both hope the performance can launch the Roar into a strong finish to the Hyundai A-League season.
A stoic Roar outfit managed to band together and defend a lead established in the first-half, holding off a fast-finishing Reds outfit despite playing with 10-men for the final 45 minutes.
It was typical of the character within the squad to finish 2017 in such fashion, and DeVere says it was a win the boys badly wanted.
“If you look at the way games have gone this season, we have been in better positions and not been able to finish it off. We spoke before the game that it was important to put a good performance in but above all we wanted to win,” DeVere said.
“[Head Coach] John [Aloisi] mentioned before the game that the team has winners and we need to find a way to get back into that groove. Winning is a habit and hopefully we can now springboard into the second half of the season."
While DeVere has established himself as one of the top defenders across the Hyundai A-League, it’s a new role for his partner in crime.
Formerly a holding midfielder, Jacob Pepper has fitted seamlessly into the Roar defence and says he’s enjoying his time at the back.
“It’s been good for me personally, it’s another position that I can say I have played. I didn’t think I’d be there at the start of the season,” Pepper said.
“It’s been easy playing alongside experienced defenders like Avram Papadopoulos, Luke DeVere and Daniel Bowles. Looking forward, I would like to get more game time there.”
The Roar return to Suncorp Stadium this weekend for two matches within three days, the first against Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night (6:50pm KO).
Tickets are available for pre-purchase through Ticketek HERE.
Western Sydney come into the contest at Suncorp Stadium, a venue in which they have lost their last two matches, on the back of a four-day turnaround following a victory over Melbourne City on Monday night.
“The Wanderers have gone through their patches this season and got a good result on Monday night. They’re coming here to Suncorp Stadium with a short turnaround though and we’re confident that we can use Saturday’s performance to roll forward,” DeVere added.
“We still have a few players out but we have confidence in this squad knowing that anyone can go out there and do a job for our team. Everyone has to be ready to chip in and do their bit.”
Watch Head Coach John Aloisi's post-match #ADLvBRI press conference HERE.