Lane Confident Strikers Can Rebound Against Jets

Jun 01, 2017 by

Brisbane Strikers coach Sean Lane is expecting his players to once again rebound from dropping a couple of points with a strong performance away to Moreton Bay United Jets at Wolter Park on Saturday.

Back in Round 2 when the two teams last met after Strikers had drawn 2-2 with Western Pride in the opening round, Strikers ran out convincing 4-0 winners over an unexpectedly subdued Jets team on a night when Rhys Meredith, now recovering from knee surgery, scored twice and Jeremy Stewart also bagged a brace.

Once again on Saturday, Strikers will be coming off a 2-2 draw with Pride – a result that Lane is still unsure how to interpret after Strikers came from behind to lead until the fifth minute of stoppage time. But he said he had been pleased with how his team had reacted to the result at training this week.

“The performance wasn’t what we’d expected. Pride made it difficult for us to play,” Lane said of last weekend’s game.

“In hindsight we’d sort of won it despite the fact that we didn’t play as well as we could and then, in the end, we were disappointed with the fact that we’d thrown it away with a stupid goal given away in extra time.

“But having watched the boys this week in training they’ve looked super-sharp and I’m pretty confident that they are certainly up for a challenge on the weekend, that’s for sure”.

And a challenge they will get, in the shape of a Jets team that has overcome a sluggish start to the season to sneak into fourth place on the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland league table with last weekend’s 3-1 win over Northern Fury. Four points behind Strikers, who are in second position, Jets will be viewing Saturday’s game as a “six pointer” – one they can ill afford to lose but one that, if they win, could give them a launching pad for an assault on the league title over the back end of the season.

Wolter Park has never been an easy place for Strikers to go to and win, and Lane knows that the prospect of an in-form Jets playing on their compact home pitch will force his players to play better than they have over their past couple of games.

“I think it took some of their new players time to settle in,” said Lane. “I think they are finding their feet and, as I’ve said to the boys, they are obviously gelling as they head into the second half of the season. It will be interesting to see if they continue the form that they’ve had over the past few weeks.

“We need to keep possession better than we have done in the last two games. But, as I said, having seen the boys in training I haven’t seen them looking as sharp in a long time. I’m looking forward to the weekend and I know they are.”

Lane said he was well aware of the dangers posed by Jets’ top scorer, Riley Campbell, who has featured in all twelve games this season and has eleven goals to his name – one more than Strikers’ leading scorer, Stewart.

However, Lane was confident Campbell could be contained.

“He’s quick, and I’ve said before that pace is a huge asset for any striker, and he’s certainly got an eye for goal.
“But we’ve got one of the best back fours in the league. The boys know what they’re up for and we certainly managed to look after him in the first game – and that’s the expectation on Saturday.”

Lane said he had no suspension or injury concerns and expected to have a full squad of players available to choose from. That being the case it is difficult to predict the composition of his starting midfield, which is an area of the team he has shuffled over the last two games against Brisbane Olympic and Pride. While skipper Michael Angus and attacking midfielder Jake McLean were constant presences in those games other midfielders who have featured are Michael Lee, Shaun Carlos, Ethan Docherty and Ryan Palmer.

Lane said no-one should read anything significant into the fact that he made half-time substitutions to his midfield in both the Olympic and Pride games.

“Sometimes you need different types of players against different types of opposition,” he said. “Looking back to the Olympic game, the double substitution was because I wanted to see if we could change the impetus and fortunately for us it worked.

“I had different reasons for making those decisions. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t”.

PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland Round 13 – Moreton Bay United Jets v Brisbane Strikers, Wolter Park, 3 June 2017, kick-off at 6.00 pm

Moreton Bay United Jets v Brisbane Strikers – Season Statistics

Moreton Bay United Jets

Last five results:
Northern Fury 1 v Jets 3
Gold Coast City 1 v Jets 1
Jets 4 v SWQ Thunder 0
Sunshine Coast FC Fire 0 v Jets 7
Jets 2 v Brisbane City 3

Home record in 2017: 3 wins, 1 loss, 2 draws (13 goals scored, 6 conceded)

Top 3 scorers:
Riley Campbell (11 goals from 12 games),
Alex Janovsky (5 from 11),
Donggyu Lee (4 from 11)

Brisbane Strikers

Last five results:
Strikers 2 v Western Pride 2
Strikers 3 v Brisbane Olympic 1
Brisbane Roar Youth 0 v Strikers 5
Redlands United 0 v Strikers 4
Strikers 7 v Northern Fury 1

Away record in 2017: 3 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw (16 goals scored, 9 conceded)

Top 3 scorers:
Jeremy Stewart (10 goals from 11 games)
Greg Cheshire (8 from 11)
Michael Lee (6 from 11)

Jets v Strikers head-to-head in PS4 NPL Queensland: Jets 2 wins, Strikers 5 wins, 3 draws

At Wolter Park: Jets 2 wins, Strikers 2 wins, 1 draw

Jets v Strikers head-to-head in Westfield FFA Cup: 1 win for Strikers (2-1 at Perry Park in the Round 6 qualifier in 2015)

Photo: Michele Pitman

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