Brisbane Roar skipper Matt Smith has issued a bold statement to his teammates – there’s no point in playing attractive football if there is no fighting spirit to match.
Brisbane Roar skipper Matt Smith has issued a bold statement to his teammates - there-s no point in playing attractive football if there is no fighting spirit to match.
Following his side-s 3-3 draw with Perth Glory at nib Stadium last night, Smith was understandably disappointed despite a two-goal clawback and the team almost snatching the victory before an 80th minute Mile Sterjovski penalty handed each side a point each.
“We obviously didn-t turn up,” Smith said.
“At the end of the day, we came off the back of a good win against the Victory and for whatever reason, we didn-t have that desire, we didn-t have that passion and we didn-t have that self-belief yesterday.”
Brisbane have won just once in their past seven league outings since breaking the Australian record for the most consecutive undefeated games at 36 and the defender said it ultimately came down to the desire within the playing group.
Other sides in the Hyundai A-League have been seen to lift their performances to match the high standard set by the current champions with Smith seeing this as a challenge, rather than a deterrent.
“Football aside, if teams are up for the battle and put us under the pressure and come at us, we really need to match it at that battle,” he said.
“We need to overcome that battle before we play football.
“You could be the best footballing team in the world but unless you have a bit of mongrel in you, it means nothing.
“Yesterday, Perth won the battle, they certainly got on top of us and made it very difficult for us.
“Unless we-re up for the challenge, there-s no point even stepping onto that pitch.”
A visibly frustrated Head Coach Ange Postecoglou was shown during half-time coverage venting his frustrations to his under-performing players and was similarly emotional in the post-match interview with Fox Sports sideline reporter Nick Meredith.
Smith was the first to admit his coach-s disappointment was not unwarranted and confessed to a similar feeling amongst the playing group this morning.
With a resurgent Adelaide United to face on Saturday night at Hindmarsh Stadium, the Roar camp need to regroup quickly if they want any chance of turning their performances around.
“We shouldn-t need to get a rocket from Ange for us to perform, first and foremost,” the 29-year-old said.
“We shouldn-t have to get words from Ange to motivate and encourage us to go out and play, we should have that desire in us within ourselves and within the team collectively.
“To be honest, if I don-t see or if we don-t get a reaction from the game against Adelaide I'd be surprised because the boys are hurting this morning.
“Speaking to a number of them, they-re very upset and I-m sure we-ll bounce back for Saturday.”