A “good headache” awaits Head Coach Robbie Fowler ahead of tomorrow’s Hyundai A-League Round 16 meeting in Gosford against the Mariners.
The Roar head south on a four-game unbeaten run, as well as a 16-game unbeaten streak against tomorrow’s opponents, with the focus squarely on extending both runs.
A strong week on the training park on the back of some positive performances has plenty of players in contention to earn their spot in Fowler’s squad.
“There’s lots of players who haven’t been playing who are itching to play. It’s a bit of a headache for me, but it’s a good headache – you want players to make it hard for you to pick a team,” Fowler said.
One of those players in contention to work his way into the starting XI is new signing Scott McDonald, who made his Club debut via the bench last weekend.
McDonald, who is making his first away trip with the Roar, has settled seamlessly into the squad.
“It’s been good to get a full week’s training under my belt and to get to know the boys a bit better. I’m just really looking forward to getting out there – we’re on a great run, four unbeaten and hopefully we can keep that going,” McDonald said.
“You can tell by how much I was smiling just how much I enjoyed it. It’s great to be part of Brisbane Roar. We have a really good bunch of boys here, training this week has been quality. There’s a lot to build on and we can get better.”
“They’ve all embraced me – it’s a great bunch of lads & there is a real team spirit amongst this group. We’re just looking to build on it now.”
Saturday’s clash with the Mariners will already be Fowler’s third test against the Central Coast following previous meetings in the league & FFA Cup.
Fowler says while the Roar’s opponents will back themselves on their home pitch, his boys know they have what it takes to get the job done.
“The last four games – two wins, two draws – is maybe showing that what we were doing at the start of the seeing is paying dividends. We won’t get complacent, we know we need to get stronger and keep working,” Fowler continued.
“We’ve played them [Central Coast] a couple of times this season. They’ll come into this game thinking they can win, as we will. We’ve had good games against them, we’ve worked on what they can do, their weaknesses and strengths, and hopefully we can put that into action.
Hyundai A-League 2019/20: Round 16 - Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Saturday, 25 January (4pm KO QLD time)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4. Eunsun KIM, 6.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 7. Milan ÐURIĆ, 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9. Jordan MURRAY, 10. Tommy OAR, 11. Daniel DESILVA, 12. Adam PEARCE (gk), 15. Kye ROWLES, 17. Samuel SILVERA, 18. Gianni STENSNESS, 19. Matthew SIMON, 21. Ruon TONGYIK, 26. Joshua NISBET, 27. Lewis MILLER, 29. Jair BRITTO 30. Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ **2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 17. Samuel SILVERA (Return from personal leave), 21. Ruon TONGYIK (Promoted), 26. Joshua NISBET (Promoted), 30. Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ (Promoted)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Max CROCOMBE (gk), 2.Scott NEVILLE, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Tom ALDRED (c), 6.Macaulay GILLESPHEY, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 10.Bradden INMAN, 15.Aaron REARDON, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Aaron AMADI-HOLLOWAY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Jake McGING, 23.Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 25.Rahmat AKBARI, 26.Jay O’SHEA, 27.Kai TREWIN, 28.Izaack POWELL, 30.Mirza MURATOVIC, 77.Scott MCDONALD **2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Tom ALDRED (returns from suspension), 15.Aaron REARDON (promoted), 27.Kai TREWIN (promoted)
Unavailable: 12.Aiden O’NEILL (international duty), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (international duty), 29.Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS (knee – TBC)
Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick
Assistant Referee 2: Andrej Giev
Fourth Official: Katie Patterson
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers