Fowler outlines McDonald's impact on rising Roar's form
It's been less than a month since Brisbane Roar signed Scott McDonald from Western United, but Roar boss Robbie Fowler says McDonald has already become a prime contributor to his side's flight into the finals frame.
McDonald has made four appearances since making the mid-season switch to the Roar; he’s yet to impact the scoresheet for Fowler’s side but the Liverpool legend says McDonald’s impact goes far beyond his abilities as a poacher.
Speaking to FOX Sports after Brisbane’s come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Adelaide United at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night – a game in which McDonald had a heavy hand in both of Roar’s second-half goals – Fowler said the 36-year-old’s impact on Brisbane’s fortunes has been clear for all to see since his arrival in mid-January.
“He’s been absolutely brilliant since he came in,” Fowler said.
“We’re demanding from the [sideline] but he’s demanding a little bit more on the actual pitch.
“What we struggled with early at the start of the season was getting a hold of the ball in the final third; he’s come in and he’s done that.
“When you’ve got a player who can hold it in the final third it gives you the option to get forward a little bit quicker, it gives you the option of players going to support a little bit quicker.
“That’s what he’s brought in, I think he’s been a great signing for us and we’re glad we’ve got him.”
McDonald experienced a frustrating start to life in the Hyundai A-League, scoring just one goal for Mark Rudan’s United side in nine appearances before moving to Brisbane in the January transfer market.
His arrival at the Queensland outfit has coincided with Brisbane’s uplift in form; their most recent win against Adelaide was their fourth in a run of seven games in which they’ve lost just once to Sydney FC and drawn the remaining two fixtures.
It’s a run of form which has lifted them above McDonald’s former side United into the sixth and final position in the Hyundai A-League finals slots.
The Roar and Fowler were under immense pressure after winning just two of their first ten fixtures, but thanks to their recent stretch of convincing displays Brisbane are suddenly in contention for a shock run into the finals.
The Roar boss says there’s been no real change in his side’s approach in recent weeks, but for a lift in confidence which has come along with the arrival of McDonald and the points Fowler believes his team have deserved all season long.
“I think we’ve been alright all season,” Fowler told FOX Sports post-match.
“Early on we weren’t getting results we probably wanted, we were more dominant with the ball.
“Lately we’ve been getting better results probably without getting as much possession.
“We’ve told the lads to have a bit more belief; when you go out there and get results it heeds such good confidence.
“We’re a team playing with good confidence.
“Thankfully we’re getting the results we probably warranted all year.”
After jumping United into sixth position on the Hyundai A-League table, McDonald and the Roar face a blockbuster clash with Rudan's side in Round 19 at Mars Stadium which could go a long way to deciding which side takes their run to the post-season to the next level.
Western United FC v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 16 February
Kick off: 4pm AEDT
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Friday, 14 February
Kick off: 7pm local, 7.30pm AEDT