Strikers Primed To Bounce Back

Jul 06, 2018 by

Brisbane Strikers coach Owen Baker is looking for a positive reaction from his charges against Brisbane Roar Youth this weekend.

Strikers travel to Logan Metro Sports Complex on Saturday night on the back of impressive recent away form – winning their last two road games against SWQ Thunder and Gold Coast United.

However, following a last start 5-3 home defeat to Cairns FC last weekend, the team knows they can take nothing for granted against their eighth-placed opponents as they seek to remain within striking distance of the NPL Queensland top four.

Baker said the team is determined to make amends for the uncharacteristic defensive return against Cairns – the first time Strikers have conceded three or more goals in the league this year.

“The boys were disappointed by the result against Cairns and they all know how important it is to bounce back and get three points,” Baker said.

“We have spoken about the defensive mistakes and we’ve addressed some things structurally during the week in response.”

“Conceding that many goals is very out-of-character for this club and it was just one of those days where we made more than one mistake and got punished.”

“I’m looking for a reaction this weekend and I know the players are determined to put that right.”

Baker said that despite the defeat he is increasingly comfortable with his side’s returns in the attacking third of the pitch – with the team averaging three goals a game since he took the reins a month ago.

“The attacking form has been better in recent weeks and it is looking a lot more fluid on the field,” he said.

“We created more than enough chances last weekend to win and we have seen this season how important it is to get on the front foot and dominate from early.”

“It hasn’t happened as much as we would like this year but it is again a focus and will again be important going into this game.”

Strikers have never lost to the Young Roar in eight previous NPL Queensland meetings – including a 4-1 win at Perry Park when the sides last met in March.

However, Baker said nothing will be taken for granted against a Young Roar side renowned for their enigmatic energy.

“You have to be wary of their counter-attack and not allowing them time and space on the ball because they have skillful, technical players,” he said.

“They might not have the experience or the physical stature of some of our players but they compete very well and they are fit and sharp. They will not be push-overs.”

Adding an element of the unknown to the fixture, the match will be the first ever for Strikers at the Roar’s new venue in Logan.

“I’ve heard it is a normal sized pitch and not in too bad a condition,” Baker said, “But we’re really not going to know until we get there on the day.”

Strikers will again be without fullback Brock Messenger, who continues to serve suspension following his red card against Gold Coast United a fortnight ago.

Baker said attacking midfielder Greg Cheshire, who was an unused substitute against Cairns, is well in the frame to post his first senior minutes of the season following his return from injury.

“Greg has been doing well in the Under 20’s and will be in the squad again. I wouldn’t be surprised if he features this weekend.”

Strikers currently sit eight points behind fourth-placed Moreton Bay United on the NPL Queensland table, with a game-in-hand.

NPL Queensland
Brisbane Roar Youth v Brisbane Strikers
Saturday, July 7 | 7:00PM
Logan Metro Sports Complex

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