Roar ready for battle in Wellington

Head Coach John Aloisi says his side are prepared for a tough battle against Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday afternoon (4:35pm KO QLD time).

The Roar are winless in their last three Hyundai A-League Matches but Aloisi says his the desire to win is there and believes his side are capable of bringing the three points back from New Zealand.

“The boys are disappointed with the results in the last three weeks but the performances have been good, we just need to turn them into results and we’re confident that we can,” he said.

“Everyone is confident still, we have a tough game this weekend but we believe that we can go there, perform well and get the result.”

The Roar now face Wellington Phoenix for this first time this Hyundai A-League season on the back of three consecutive defeats, but the boss is taking a number of positives from a 3-2 last-start loss to Melbourne Victory.

After conceding an early three-goal lead, the Roar fought their way back into the contest and pushed the Victory the whole way.

“We were three goals down in the blink of an eye against the Victory, and even thought there were a few things we could have dealt with better, I don’t think we deserved to be 3-0 down,” he said.

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“The reaction from the players was amazing. That’s showing that the boys believe in what we’re doing and if you play like that then you’ll get results.

“There’s always room for improvement, but if you play like we did against away against the Victory, you’ll be in a better position come the end of the season.”

The Roar’s opponents enter the clash with confidence after disposing of the Victory in a rescheduled mid-week clash in Wellington, a victory that Aloisi has credited to the Phoenix winning the fight.

“Their [Wellington Phoenix] coaches and players said this week that they had to win the fight, and they did that, so we have to match them,” Aloisi said.

“If we go over there and think that just our football will win us the game then it’s not going to happen.

“You have to make sure you’re up for the battle and if you do that then there’s a good chance of getting a win.”

Jade North

The Roar hold a strong record against the Phoenix but don’t have quite the same ascendancy in matches played in New Zealand. Brisbane have won 16 of 27 Roar-Phoenix clashes, but only tasted victory across the Tasman on five occasions.

A victory on Saturday would not only solidify the Roar’s position in the Hyundai A-League’s top four but provide a momentum booster ahead of a busy upcoming schedule.

The Roar soon play three matches in six days and with a relatively healthy squad, Aloisi says all his players are eager to earn themselves some game time.

“Everyone has shown that they want to play this week and I’ll play who I believe will win this football game but also with an eye on the upcoming weeks,” Aloisi said.

“It’s good to have the whole squad fit and ready ahead of the schedule.”

“Results can change the momentum of the season. We know that performance-wise we’re doing well and if you pick up that win away from home then you can go on a bit of a run.”

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Wellington Phoenix v Brisbane Roar

Saturday, 21 January, Westpac Stadium, 4:35pm QLD time

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBOROUSES, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 17.Vince LIA, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE, 99.Shane SMELTZ **one to be omitted**

Ins: 12.Adam PARKHOUSE (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

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Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.ARANA, 17. Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN **two to be omitted**

Ins: 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO (promoted), 33.Joey KATEBIAN (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 10.Brett HOLMAN (knee – 1 week)

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro

Assistant Referee 1: Simon Lount

Assistant Referee 2: Mark Rule

Fourth Official: Alex King