“We Have More Goals In Us” Says Clulow

Jun 16, 2016 by

Brisbane Strikers winger Trent Clulow (pictured) believes his team is still to realise its full attacking potential as it prepares to resume its 2016 PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland campaign against Gold Coast City at Perry Park on Saturday.

After a slow start to the season, Strikers have risen to second position on the league table, four points behind league leaders FNQFC Heat and with a game in hand.

The key to their present league position has been their defending, having conceded only eight goals in twelve games. But Clulow says it is at the other end of the field that Strikers are overdue for a change in fortunes.

“I definitely do think there are more goals in us,” Clulow said this week. “I think there’s been games that we have won well where there could been blowouts, where three or four goals could have been five or six. The chances that we create are typically quite good chances so I think there is more goals in our team, for sure.

“It has been a theme that we are defensively strong because we starve the opposition of the ball – it’s hard to score when you don’t have it. But converting those opportunities that we do get in front of goal, and being a bit more adventurous and risky in the final third, is the next step.

“But it’s there, we can sense it”.

Strikers had last weekend off after beating Lions FC to qualify for the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 on the previous Sunday. While sitting out the weekend they watched a number of PlayStation 4 NPL ‘catch-up’ results fall favourably for them, including Brisbane Roar FC Youth’s defeat of Redlands United to leave United behind Strikers on goal difference.

Clulow said the rest had helped his teammates recover from a few “niggling injuries” but they weren’t taking much notice of last weekend’s league results.

“Kevin (A’Herne-Evans) wants us to collect enough points to go and win the trophy on our own, but I guess we do need situations where results go in our favour,” Clulow said.

“One thing that we need to do is focus on our own results, instead of getting caught up in others. It’s been a bit of a curse when we’ve known results at half time in games previously so we really need to put that behind us.

“In saying that, at the stage we’re at now, it’s given us some more drive to kick on through the whole of round two and especially from the start, as we had a disappointing start to the season”.

One of those early disappointments was drawing 1-1 away to Gold Coast City in March at a time when three points seemed essential for Strikers after losing and drawing their opening two games.

“Over the last couple of years they’ve always been a very difficult team to beat’” said Clulow of Strikers’ opponents on Saturday.

“We were disappointed with the result when we had a couple of good opportunities to steal the game at the death. And last year when they came up here it was a day game and it was slow and hot, and it was just a grind all the way through.

“Every team struggles to beat them and they went through nine or ten games at the start of the season undefeated. There was a lot of draws in there, obviously, but they are just a tough team to break down”.

Gold Coast City are currently in fifth position on the league table, three points behind Strikers having played one extra game. They will still be cursing the fact that they let two points slip at home against Western Pride last week when they drew 3-3 after leading 2-0.

But they are the league’s top scorers and Clulow was clearly aware they could pose a big threat to his team’s admirable defensive record this weekend.

‘Their attacking midfielder, Ben Litfin, is oviously a threat – a goal scoring midfielder who scored against us last time,” Clulow said. “He’s had a great first round and he’s one that we’re going to have to keep an eye on.

“Then Justyn McKay, as always, he’s the engine room of their team and he’s someone that we have to limit time on the ball with his passing range and his ability to bring players into the game.

“And their big striker – Jarrod Kyle – he seems to be scoring and getting some momentum in front of goal. It will be a good battle because we are such a strong team defensively and they’ve got some goal scoring threats”.

Kick-off at Perry Park is scheduled for 6.00 pm, preceded by the Under-18s game at 3.30.

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