Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey is eyeing off a top of the table A-League match with Western Sydney Wanderers as the ideal way to bounce back from a disappointing round-six loss to Newcastle Jets and his side’s subsequent slide down the football totem pole.
The Roar surrendered top spot to the Wanderers in their 2-1 loss to the Jets at Hunter Stadium on Sunday and Mulvey said post-game that a clash with the new A-League leaders on Friday at Suncorp Stadium gave his side the ideal opportunity to reassert their premiership credentials.
Brisbane dominated the first half of the game held in heavy rain on a sodden pitch and led 1-0 at the break thanks to a Luke Brattan goal.
But the home side dealt better with the atrocious conditions in the second half and a brace to Adam Taggart handed them their second win of the season and moved them to third on the A-League ladder behind the Wanderers and the Roar.
“We have to regroup now, we have a quick turnaround for Western Sydney on Friday which is probably the perfect game for us. We need to get back and really concentrate now and focus on that game,” Mulvey said.
“The facts for us are we have played six games, four of them have been away and two at home and for both of our losses … we lost at Melbourne Victory and we lost here, I can see reasons why we shouldn’t have lost either game.
“But we have, those are the facts. The response we got after losing to Melbourne was to come back and win the game and we will be looking for a similar response on Friday.”
The win was the Jets’ second in succession and has thrust them up the ladder ahead of Perth Glory, who drew 1-1 at home with Adelaide United on Saturday, and Sydney FC, who also enjoyed a second straight win in Friday’s 2-0 victory over the last-placed Melbourne Heart, on goal difference.
Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond said it showed how soon things could change.
“Myself and (Sydney FC coach) Frank (Farina) were probably the two under the pump early doors there for not getting results and then you turn things around, and you see the team go pretty quickly up the ladder and it can turn around very quickly,” he said.
“The thing is to try and make sure we are consistent.
“We are really happy about the result and we got the three points … but we have to keep our feet on the ground.
“We have got the Heart at home next week and we are looking forward to playing at home again in front of our tremendous supporters.”
The winless Heart sit at the foot of the ladder with reports coach John Aloisi has two games to turn his side’s sinking season around or he faces the axe.
The Heart suffered their fourth loss of the season, to a buoyant Sky Blues, leaving Aloisi well and truly under the pump.
The final fixture of round six between Central Coast and Wellington was postponed to December 19 due to New Zealand’s World Cup playoff with Mexico.