Parsons encouraged to 'play without fear' as young attack helps to spur Roar toward Finals Series

Brisbane Roar striker Alex Parsons says he's thriving off the encouragement of the coaching staff and experienced players around him to go out and express himself after helping secure a 2-1 win for his side over Newcastle Jets on Friday night.

After losing the experienced Scott McDonald to Western Sydney Wanderers in late April and with 31-year-old Japanese international Masato Kudo warming the bench for the majority of his A-League stay to date, the likes of Parsons (21), Riku Danzaki (20) and Dylan Wenzel-Halls (23) have stepped up to shoulder the attacking burden in the 2020/21 campaign.

Danzaki went top of Brisbane's scoring charts for the season with his eighth goal of the campaign against the Jets, getting a fortuitous touch on Parsons' strike from the edge of the box to put Brisbane on the path to victory.

Wenzel-Halls is the next-highest Roar scorer with seven, while Parsons continued to impress against the Jets notching an assist in his first 90-minute shift in what's been a promising A-League season for the recently-discovered talent. 

Speaking to FOX Sports after his side's 2-1 win over the Jets, Parsons credited the trust placed in him by the experienced players and coaches in the squad which is helping him thrive at A-League level.

"The coaching staff and the players, they allow the young players to come in and play without fear, really," Parsons said.

"When you come on there’s no pressure, there’s nothing.

"The older boys let you play, the (coach) lets us play and it just helps, you can go out there and do your thing."

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Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar | Match Highlights | A-League

"I just want to play more and score more, contribute to goals like tonight and go from there," Parsons added.

It was Parsons and Danzaki who combined to put Brisbane ahead in the must-win fixture at McDonald Jones Stadium, but experienced midfielder Jay O'Shea would go on to play the pivotal role as he allowed the Jets back into the game with an own goal before netting the winner in the second half.

The result helped Brisbane strengthen their position in the top six, with four teams placed seventh to tenth still in with a shot of making the Finals Series by the end of the regular season. 

O'Shea echoed Parsons thoughts to FOX Sports after his see-sawing night unfolded in Newcastle, crediting the young players for standing up in the big moments having given the freedom to express themselves in the side.

"I think all the young lads are given the freedom," O'Shea said.

"That’s the environment we’re trying to build, they shouldn’t be afraid to go and do their thing.

"Obviously whatever they’ve been doing when they’ve been growing up, you don’t want to take that out of them - especially when they get in the first team.

"You don’t want to be putting too much pressure on them and screaming at them whenever they make a mistake.

You give them the freedom and they’ll provide, and Alex has been excellent since he’s come in." 

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Brisbane Roar
O'Shea and his Roar teammates celebrate the winning goal in a 2-1 result clinched against the Jets

The Roar will now turn their attention to a midweek clash with league-leading Melbourne City on Tuesday, May 25 as the Queensland side's congested fixture schedule plays out. Roar head coach Warren Moon told FOX Sports it was a huge boost to seal three points at the start of Matchweek 22 with the rest of the sides around them yet to play.

With his side in the midst of a busy end to the campaign, Moon says anything but finals football would be considered a disappointment in his camp as they head into the final weeks of the season with a place in the Finals Season in their possession.

"I think we just have to continue on what we’ve been doing for the last three weeks now, because we’ve been in that mode for a while," he said.

"It’s more of the same, we’ll obviously make changes for Tuesday, we’re going to play a very, very good team.

"We’ll need to freshen up some of the players, but we’ll go out with intentions to win that game and reassess after that into a big game on the following weekend.

Moon continued: "I do remember we weren’t one of the fancied teams to make the six at the start of the year, and that’s okay.

We had a quiet confidence in the group that we could. We’re now four or five games out, and we’re a great chance to make it if we can find a few more performances.

It’s our goal to play finals - anything less than that and I will say we feel like we fell short."

Next Matches

Brisbane Roar v Melbourne City
Tuesday, May 25 2021
Moreton Daily Stadium
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEST
Match Centre

Melbourne City v Newcastle Jets
Saturday, May 29 2021
AAMI Park
Kick-off: 5.05pm AEST
Match Centre