Versatility pleases Farina

Queensland Roar coach Frank Farina has paid tribute to his side's flexibility after it made a successful key change in formation to help complete a thrilling 2-1 win over Newcastle on Sunday night at Suncorp Stadium.

Queensland Roar coach Frank Farina has paid tribute to his side's flexibility after it made a successful key change in formation to help complete a thrilling 2-1 win over Newcastle on Sunday night at Suncorp Stadium.

With the Roar looking relatively lifeless and the Jets having already established a 1-0 lead through Joel Griffiths, Farina brought Andrew Packer off for Mitch Nichols in the 36th minute.

The move saw the home side change its formation from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3, with Nichols performing the role of playmaker.

It proved to be a masterstroke for Farina, with a lively Nichols heading the equaliser home in extra time during the first half, before the teenager continued to control the tempo in the second stanza.

Farina was pleased with his side's ability to adapt.

"I thought we played well tonight, particularly in the last 60 minutes, for the first 30 we looked a bit flat and second to the ball and we weren't creating enough," Farina said.

"The past few weeks we've been working on different things at training, it was just flat and didn't seem to be working well against the formation they were playing."

"I changed it, I wanted Mitch (Nichols) to be getting into the box a lot more with Sergio (van Dijk), particularly with Tahj (Minniecon) and Michael (Zullo) getting down the flanks."

Farina believed his side is now well placed to be able to execute a number of different game plans.

"We have the capability of playing in three different ways, we can play with a 4-3-3, we played with 3-4-3 tonight, a diamond midfield, 4-4-2."

"Throughout the season we've used all those combinations at some stage and I know the players are comfortable and if we have to change something, they know what's required."

It was not all good news for the Roar, with Charlie Miller finally succumbing to a double hernia.

Miller will have surgery this week, but Farina suggested the Scotsman's team-mates will be able to rise to the occasion and fill the void.

"There are opportunities for people to step up and I think they did that, Michael (Zullo) missed a week through illness and played a very good game," he said.

"Young Mitch who came into that (playmaker) role, I thought he was marvelous."

The loss means the Jets, anchored to the bottom of the table, now require a minor miracle to make it into the top four.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond suggested his side would be turning its attention to the Asian Champions League due to start in March.

"If it was just the A-League season, it's obviously going to be extremely difficult to get ourselves in the top four, but we've got the Champions League," van Egmond said.

"We need to really, really gain some momentum over these next six games to ensure that we are going to have a good Champions League campaign."