Ange rapt with Roar

It is fairly rare for pre-season form to count for too much, but Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou was understandably a little excited after his side showed plenty of promise in a 2-1 loss to Everton on Saturday night.

It is fairly rare for pre-season form to count for too much, but Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou was understandably a little excited after his side showed plenty of promise in a 2-1 loss to Everton on Saturday night.

Postecoglou overhauled his playing list after the Roar came within one point of finishing last in the 2009-10 Hyundai A-League season, and the early results were all positive.

The Toffees dictated terms despite looking tired after a busy Australian tour, but nothing should be taken away from the home side.

The cohesion showed by recruits Costa Barbarouses, Thomas Broich, Erik Paartalu, Shane Stefanutto and Michael Theoklitos in their first serious test against quality opposition was remarkable.

Most notably, the Roar played an attacking brand of football and were on track for a shock draw before Magaye Gueye's 83rd-minute winner.

Postecoglou was hopeful the competitive performance against Everton would be the perfect platform for a successful 2010-11 A-League campaign, which begins on August 8 against Gold Coast United.

"We pushed them really hard tonight, which shows the players that if we maintain those standards in the A-League, obviously we'll do really well," Postecoglou said.

"Our fitness is fantastic at the moment and we are looking sharp."

"I guess (with) the jelling of the team, we've still got a little bit of work to do, but certainly the signs were very encouraging."

"The new players and the existing players are all driving the same work ethic and the good thing about tonight is that they saw the rewards for that."

Postecoglou's men earned plenty of praise from their more fancied opposition.

Everton captain Phil Neville described the clash as the toughest of his side's three-game tour, which also netted respective 1-0 and 2-0 wins over Sydney FC and Melbourne Heart.

"The system that they played made it very difficult in the first half," Neville said.

"I think our quality showed in the end, but it was played in a real football stadium, on a nice football pitch."

"Out of the three games, this has probably been the best spectacle for the supporters to watch."

Roar captain Matt McKay expected his team-mates would be sharper come August 8, but was still pleased with their output on the weekend.

"There's a bit of improvement we need to make, but we were playing against an EPL side," McKay said.

"To get close to them on the scoreboard is encouraging for us, but we've still got work to do.

"That wasn't the best we've played…we can improve in the front third and our movement can be a tiny bit better."

Postecoglou expected former Costa Rican Under-20 international Jean Carlo Solorzano would arrive at Ballymore by the end of the week.

Toffees coach David Moyes was content with his side's flawless record against A-League opposition, but wasn't quite ready to call the trip a success.

"It's nice to win games, but I'll swap them all for three wins in the Premier League," Moyes said.

"We've enjoyed a really good trip over here, but I'll judge it by how we do in the Premier League."

"I'll judge it later on in August when the season starts."

Everton's EPL campaign starts on August 14 with an away clash against Blackburn.