Smith reflects on ACL performance

They’ve been exposed to Asian football for the first time but the Brisbane Roar players are still refusing to compare themselves to anyone else.

They-ve been exposed to Asian football for the first time but the Brisbane Roar players are still refusing to compare themselves to anyone else.

Brisbane suffered a defeat at the hands of FC Tokyo in their opening AFC Champions League fixture of 2012 last night with the Japanese club-s classy performance well worthy of the 2-0 score line.

Captain Matt Smith agreed his side were in need of improvement on the continental stage if they want any chance of progressing to the next round and insisted the Roar players were more than capable of reaching that level.

“I think over the past year we-ve compared ourselves with ourselves, we don-t compare ourselves to any other club or any other players,” he said.

“I think the level that we played at last night was below the level that we-re capable of so for us, it-s all about getting back to the highest level that we can physically play at.”

Smith and his teammates were on the back foot from the opening whistle as FC Tokyo dominated possession with their slick passing and impressed in front of goal with their speedy forward line.

Some might think that it was a small shock to the system of the current Hyundai A-League champions but the Roar skipper said he had been anticipating a tough night at the office.

“It-s a step up from the A-League but that-s what you expect playing in the Champions League,” Smith said.

“You expect to play against the best teams in Asia.

“If we-re honest, we probably gave them a bit too much respect in the first half.

“We probably didn-t play our normal game and that-s probably the most disappointing thing about last night, particularly in the first half.

“We should have been a bit more at them that probably what we did.”

But there-s always a silver lining and Smith will take positives out of last night-s result ahead of their next ACL match away to Chinese Super League team Beijing Guoan in two weeks- time.

“I think that you can obviously gain some experience from that,” he said.

“It was our first encounter in the Champions League and I think going into the next game, we probably won-t make the same mistakes as we did last night.

“That can be a positive for us.

“We showed at times that we were disciplined but other times, we weren-t playing to our structures.

“I think that-s something we-ve been known for doing for the past two years and that-s something we can take from last night is that if we play like that again we-re going to pick up no points throughout this competition.

“It-s up to us now to pick ourselves up and look to the next game and try and get three points from there.”