Brisbane Roar Youth Coach Josh McCloughan says his squad faces a tough internal challenge against Melbourne City on Saturday in the Foxtel National Youth League fixture at Cleveland Showgrounds (4pm KO).
The Young Roar lost the reverse Foxtel NYL fixture 4-3 at C.B. Smith Reserve in December.
McCloughan says that match is the only game where he was disappointed in the Young Roar’s performance.
“Every game aside from the [Melbourne] City game I can honestly say I’ve been happy with how we’ve gone about the football game,” he said.
“I made it clear that I wasn’t happy with the way we played down there [in Melbourne] and would like to see improvement.
“That’s our internal challenge. I would like to see us perform better in relation to this opposition [Melbourne City].
“They’re a decent football side so it will be a good challenge this weekend.”
Strikers Nicholas D’Agostino (above, suspended this week), Harry Sawyer (injured) and Shannon Brady will all miss Saturday’s clash.
Brady was promoted to Roar Head Coach John Aloisi’s Hyundai A-League 18-man preliminary squad preparing to travel to Wellington for their match on Sunday (4pm kick off).
With a number of players unavailable, McCloughan says it provides a great chance for others to come into the squad and perform.
“Football is all about opportunities,” he said.
“Every day when you train you get an opportunity. During games you get opportunities.
“I’ve said to the players that I will never leave a player out who’s taken an opportunity.
“If you get the chance, it’s up to you to take it.”
Brisbane had a disappointing 1-0 defeat last Sunday to Perth Glory despite dominating large periods of the match.
McCloughan praised his squad’s performance and believes that better results will come with similar displays.
“Everything we did in our structures and the way we played was executed well, we just lacked a goal,” he said.
“We created 10 clear-cut chances and if we’re creating that many chances, more often than not, we’ll win the football game.
“We got caught on one break and we need to learn from that too.”
Midfielder Jesse Daley says the side has focused on being more clinical in front of goals when chances arise.
“It’s been a focus point for the last couple of weeks, making sure we’re more clinical when we create chances,” Daley said.
"[Melbourne] City is always a tough game and it’s important that we get back to doing the things the way Josh wants us to."
Words by AARON COOPER