Strikers Look To Batten Down Hatches In Toowoomba

Jul 01, 2016 by

A return to defensive solidity is top of Brisbane Strikers coach Kevin A’Herne-Evans wish list for his team as they travel to Clive Berghofer Stadium in Toowoomba to play SWQ Thunder in Round 16 PlayStation 4 NPL action on Saturday.

Strikers conceded only two games between Rounds 5 and 13, with both of those coming in one game against FNQFC Heat

But they conceded five in two games over Rounds 14 and 15 as Strikers beat Gold Coast City FC 3-2 and drew 3-3 with Moreton Bay United. A’Herne-Evans is in no mood to let that continue.

“A lot of the goals we’ve conceded actually come more from a lack of discipline at times when we are in possession of the ball, so that’s one of the biggest things that we’ve worked on this week,” said A’Herne-Evans.

“We’ve dropped far too deep into our box too early and put pressure on our goalkeeper from balls into the box.

“So that’s something that we’re addressing because conceding five goals in two games, for us, is not acceptable”.

A’Herne-Evans said there was no danger of Strikers underestimating Thunder, who lost on Saturday to Redlands United and then on Tuesday to Brisbane Roar FC Youth, to slip eight points adrift of the top four.

“Every time I’ve gone up to Toowoomba it’s been a real grind,” said A’Herne-Evans, looking back over his three previous seasons as a PlayStation 4 NPL coach.

“You can ask the question about how Heat got on when they went up there this year, how Moreton Bay got on and how Redlands got on (all three of them lost).

“If you go up there with the wrong mindset and thinking that things are just going to happen for you, you are going to have a rude awakening”.

A’Herne-Evans said he was toying with making a few selection changes – if not for the Thunder fixture then probably soon afterwards.

“There is an element of needing to have a bit of a freshen up, however we’ve got to be mindful of the players that have got us into this position and the continuity that they have,” A’Herne-Evans said.

“On the other side of it, it’s important to keep in mind people like Jonti Richter, Rees Duncan, Luke Marsh and Chris Maher – who are all good footballers – when we’ve got a big month coming up, knowing that over the next four or five weeks as a squad we are going to be tested to the max”.

The head to head record between the two clubs in games at Toowoomba gives little encouragement to Thunder, with Strikers winning both contests so far.

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