Final Third The Key To Upstaging “Unpredictable” Redlands

Jul 14, 2016 by

Brisbane Strikers coach Kevin A’Herne-Evans says he is focusing on that most difficult of coaching tasks ahead of Saturday’s catch-up fixture against Redland United at the Cleveland Showgrounds– trying to anticipate the unexpected.

The game is one of the most important of the season to date as Strikers chase FNQFC Heat for the premiership and Redlands try to force their way back into the finals placings.

But A’Herne-Evans admits one of the toughest things about preparing his players mentally and tactically for the game was working out how to meet the unique challenge posed by the competition’s most chameleon-like team.

“We know that it will be classic Redlands – they will come out with a certain structure and game plan initially but, if there’s anything consistent about Redlands over the last year, they’ve consistently changed their game to react to what the opposition’s doing and get their best players involved in the game,” A’Herne-Evans said on Thursday.

“You’ve got to give credit to (Redlands coach) Matt Chandler and to (captain) Graham Fyfe for the way that they set the squad up. They may go in with an initial plan, but if it’s not working they are not afraid to change things and try something different.

“They consistently change their formation and they change where their personnel are playing to go out there and affect the game. It’s quite difficult to prepare for a team like that.”

A’Herne-Evans agreed the game represents a huge opportunity for his team to make ground on Heat, who are four points ahead of Strikers but have played one game more.

“It’s going to be a bumper game at the Showgrounds this weekend, no doubt about it,” he said.

“You’ve got one team still believing that we can go on and win a title and you’ve got the other team fighting to get back into the top four.

“Every time Strikers play Redlands it’s always one of the best and most attractive games to watch. There are a number of top, top players on the field so it’s really exciting to go down there. Anyone thinking it’s going to be a dour game obviously has not seen a Redlands-Strikers game before”.

A’Herne-Evans said he believed better execution in attack was the key to his players rebounding from the disappointment of losing 2-1 at home to Olympic FC last week.

“The result was disappointing, however we only lost that game because we missed a couple of opportunities. It wasn’t a case of being beaten by a far better side,” A’Herne-Evans said.

“I don’t think there’s been a team that has played football that is as attractive and consistent as what we have this season. Some of our play at times has been a pleasure to be a part of.

“It’s just making sure that we continue to improve, and in particular in the final third. Building up from the back isn’t a problem, playing through the midfield isn’t a problem. It’s just when we get into the final third, whether we can execute a little bit better there.

“That’s a key area we are continuing to work on”.

The previous game between the two teams this season, in Round 2 at Perry Park, was won 3-1 by Redlands.

Kick-off in Saturday’s game is scheduled for 3.00 pm.

Photo: Michele Pitman

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