Goals and wins only numbers that matter to Roar’s O’Shea

Jay O’Shea is one of the Hyundai A-League’s most dangerous players according to the stats but the Irish playmaker wants to have a more tangible effect on Brisbane Roar’s resurgence.

In a Roar side that has struggled for consistency so far in 2019/20, O’Shea has been one of their leading lights.

The 31-year-old leads the competition for chances created (42) and passes into the opposition box (146), while he also has three assists (equal 8th in the league) and 31 successful dribbles.

But the Republic of Ireland youth international isn’t one that cares too much for those numbers, especially when his goal return for Robbie Fowler’s side is yet to get going.

I’ve never paid attention to (those stats) through my career, I’ve always judged myself on goals and assists,” O’Shea tells a-league.com.au ahead of Saturday’s clash with Wellington Phoenix.

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“I’ve been informed by the club that I have been creating a lot of chances but I’d be happier if the chances were getting finished and I was scoring more myself to be honest.

“I’ve been happy with my performances but there’s always room for improvement.

“I’m not happy with just creating chances. I want more assists and goals, that’s really what affects the game.”

O’Shea was part of a major squad overhaul at Roar in pre-season as Fowler made wholesale changes to try and lift the club’s fortunes.

While many in the Roar squad took time to settle, O’Shea hit the ground running from Round 1.

Jay O'Shea has been Roar's most consistent player so far this season
Jay O'Shea has been Roar's most consistent player so far this season

The former Birmingham City and Sheffield United attacker is a key cog in Fowler’s possession-based game, which has seen Roar enjoy the majority of the ball in almost all their matches.

That possession hasn’t always been turned into positive results, with opposition sides seemingly content to sit back and hit Roar on the counter attack.

But O’Shea says Roar won’t be changing their ways anytime soon, especially under Fowler.

“I can see how that [playing on the counter attack] can be effective because a lot of teams have done that to us this season where we’ve looked like we’ve been in the ascendancy and then got sucker-punched a few times,” O’Shea explained.

“It definitely can be effective but we like to play on the front foot, that’s the way the manager likes to play.

“We’re good in possession and that only helps the forward players if we can get it in and try and create chances.

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“We’ve been creating a lot of chances and the last few weeks we’ve been getting positive results. They’re coming at a good time now, we’re only three points off sixth place and things are looking up now.”

Sitting on the foot of the ladder at the end of 2019, Roar have breathed life into their campaign on the back of a three game unbeaten run.

It started with a late draw against Newcastle Jets (1-1), followed by a 2-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers and a 2-2 draw with high-flying Melbourne City last weekend.

But Roar’s recent resurgence will face arguably it’s toughest test on Saturday as the in-form Wellington Phoenix – chasing a club-record 10th game without defeat – come to Suncorp Stadium.

“We haven’t mentioned [Phoenix’s] run to be honest. We’ve started a little run of our own and we’re on three games now,” O’Shea said.

“It would be nice to put an end to their run. But we’re just focusing on ourselves and things are starting to gel well.

"We’re picking up some positive results and over the last few weeks things have been really positive in training and the camp has been lifted with the good results.”

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Brad Inman
Roar are looking to add to their unbeaten streak against the in-form Phoenix

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Brisbane Roar v Wellington Phoenix
Saturday, 18 January 2020
Suncorp Stadium
Kick off: 4pm local, 5pm AEDT
Broadcast: ABC TV, FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports, ABC iView