‘His attitude has been spot-on’: Fowler’s praise for workaholic Wenzel-Halls
One is a seasoned veteran playing his first game for the club, the other is a 22-year-old speedster looking to prove a point and become a regular starter.
Scott McDonald and Dylan Wenzel-Halls may be polar opposites when it comes to their football journeys but it was their introduction that inspired Brisbane Roar’s 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
With Roar second best and lucky to be level at half-time at Suncorp Stadium, Roar boss Robbie Fowler first brought on McDonald and then Wenzel-Halls to devastating effect.
McDonald provided composure when he came on early after the break, while Wenzel-Halls scored the winner with his first touch just 100 seconds after being substituted on.
“When you do make subs you want them to have a reaction in the game. Especially with Dylan, he’s a great young lad, he’ll work hard and he gives everything he’s got,” Fowler told Fox Sports after the match.
“It’s been unfortunate for him because I think other players have been a little bit ahead of him so when he’s come on you need to sort of do a little bit more and show the manager how much effort you’re putting in and what it means to be playing.
“Fair play to [Wenzel-Halls his attitude has been spot on. He’s a handful.
“When you do make subs you want them to make a difference and I think they did.”
Wenzel-Halls was one of the breakout stars of the competition last season but has made just eight appearances (three starts) under Fowler.
He has had to bide his time with the likes of Roy O’Donovan, Aaron Amadi-Holloway and Mirza Muratovic preferred in the attacking role.
But the young speedster showed his predatory instinct with a sublime turn past ex-Premier League defender Steven Taylor before burying his shot in off the underside of the crossbar.
“I knew Steven Taylor was up my backside. I was just lucky to be there to finish,” Wenzel-Halls said.
“I didn’t know too much about it to be fair, it was just instinct.
"Missing the last few weeks hasn’t been easy for me, being an unused sub, but I’ve been working hard every single day and I’m doing my extras and [the goal] is the case of things there.”
Roar have now gone four games in a row without defeat and they have moved just one point and one place outside the finals places.
They are next in action next Saturday when they head to Gosford for a clash with the Central Coast Mariners, kicking off at 5pm AEDT.