Roar yearn for clean sheet

Considering he oversees a side that prides itself on having one of the stingiest defences in the Hyundai A-League, conceding six goals in two games is a figure that does sit well with Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina.

Considering he oversees a side that prides itself on having one of the stingiest defences in the Hyundai A-League, conceding six goals in two games is a figure that does sit well with Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina.

The 2008/09 A-League season may only be two weeks old, but the Roar now lay claim to the worst defensive record in the competition apart from cellar dwellers North Queensland.

Farina admitted the statistic was unenviable, but pointed to spectacular strikes from Melbourne Victory duo Danny Allsopp and Carlos Hernandez in last week's 3-3 draw as the reason he was not quite ready to hit the panic button.

"Six goals is not good, but if you look at all those goals and the circumstances they were scored in - we couldn't do much," Farina said.

"We copped three special goals on the weekend against Melbourne, the third one against Gold Coast was two minutes into injury time and we had to push forward, so you can't read too much into that."

The Roar's cause has not been helped by a turnstile-style approach to their back four, with skipper Craig Moore the only constant.

Young Socceroo Luke DeVere missed much of the pre-season due to representative duty while Scotsman Bob Malcolm was only cleared to play a week out from the season opener.

Serious groin injuries to Andrew Packer and Josh McCloughan in the opening two rounds have further disrupted the backline.

Packer and McCloughan's injury woes have forced Farina to once again start four central defenders against Wellington on Sunday, with DeVere and Matt Mundy playing out of position on either flank.

It is a situation that is anything but ideal, but Farina expected a slicker and more cohesive performance after another week of training.

"That's one of the keys for us, this year we've never had a settled back four … we haven't really settled into a rhythm like we had (last season)," he said.

"Defensively we were one of the top-two teams last year, and once we settle and get those combinations working again we'll be fine."

The headache is not going to disappear anytime soon, with DeVere scheduled to depart for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup next month.

The 19-year-old will leave for Egypt a more versatile player, but admits he is still mastering the art of playing out wide.

"Moving from centre-back to right-back, you're always going to have those challenges of positioning and placement on the field," DeVere said.

"It's a different experience, but it's good to learn something new and I'm enjoying a different role."