Another late rally shows Roar are ‘willing to give everything’ says Fowler
The ‘Brisbane Roar late show’ is fast becoming a trend and head coach Robbie Fowler insists it showcases the level of belief among his players.
Macaulay Gillesphey headed in his first Hyundai A-League goal in the 85th minute as the Queenslanders tightened their grip on sixth place in the ladder with a 1-1 draw against Premiers Perth Glory in Redcliffe.
The late equaliser means the last six goals scored by Brisbane have arrived in the second half and Roar have scored a league-high 15 of their 20 goals in the last 30 minutes of matches.
The fact Roar have only scored five goals in the first hour of their 18 games this season is no concern to Fowler, who believes peaking towards the end of games revealed a lot about his team’s character.
“It is what it is. Does it frustrate me? Not really,” said Fowler.
“Football is not 45 minutes or 60 minutes, you play for 90 or 94 minutes so regardless of when we score, the object is to try and win the game.
“If we score goals late, then it just shows our lads are willing to give everything until that referee blows that final whistle.”
There were more then 9,000 supporters cheering on the teams at a jam-packed Dolphin Stadium on Saturday as Roar fought back to cancel out Bruno Fornaroli’s eighth goal in eight games and stay unbeaten in on home soil in 2020.
With Glory extending their undefeated streak to 10 matches and climbing up to second in the ladder, Fowler believed the raucous home support gave Brisbane the extra lift they needed against the in-form Premiers.
“Any time when you are playing football, when you are playing in front of a vocal crowd, a crowd that gets behind you, it gives you a little bit of a lift,” Fowler said.
“We want as many bodies into whatever ground we’re played at. We want to make the atmosphere quite special, we want people to go away knowing they’ve played a hand in a wonderful result.
“Coming here, it’s the boutique stadium that a lot of people talk about. You saw it yourselves, you felt the atmosphere, you’ve heard the atmosphere, and it definitely gives you a little bit of a boost.”
Glory had a short turnaround after falling to a 1-0 AFC Asian Champions League defeat against FC Tokyo in Japan only four days earlier and Popovic believes the travel schedule had an impact on the result.
“I think performance was very good considering how much we’ve travelled, where we’ve come from to play this match on a very heavy pitch,” Popovic said.
“Physically it was very difficult for the players but I thought they acquitted themselves very well, a very professional display.
“In the end, we had the chance to get the second goal and we probably needed a second goal because, at the end, the corner really was a bit of fatigue that we conceded that.”
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 1 March
Kick-off: 6.30pm AEDT
Newcastle Jets v Perth Glory
Saturday, 29 February
McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick-off: 5pm AEDT