Sport Football Mulvey keen to build Suncorp fortress

Mulvey keen to build Suncorp fortress

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Brisbane’s 3-1 win over Western Sydney on Friday may have ended the Wanderers’ unbeaten start to the season but the Roar are building an imposing record of their own.

The Wanderers arrived at Suncorp Stadium having not lost a regular A-League season fixture in 18 games and sitting on top of the table.

But after goals by Besart Berisha, Ivan Franjic and Kwame Yeboah, it’s the Roar who will end the weekend in top spot thanks to an eighth successive home match without defeat – a run stretching back to January.

The latest Suncorp Stadium victory follows a 4-0 thrashing of Sydney FC and a 3-0 win over Melbourne Heart in the Roar’s other home matches this season.

“It was important for us to win. This is our home ground. We want to make it a fortress,” coach Mike Mulvey said.

“It’s worth noting we’ve played three good teams now and we’ve scored four, three and three. That’s good news.”

Mulvey said while maintaining good home form was important, he mainly wanted to see a positive reaction from his players following last week’s disappointing 2-1 loss to Newcastle at Hunter Stadium.

“Being 1-0 up last week at half-time and losing, that’s not the form of a championship team,” he said.

“Western Sydney Wanderers would not have lost that game last week if they’d been 1-0 up at half-time. I am so proud of the boys.”

Friday’s defeat, which included the first goals conceded by the Wanderers within the opening 20 minutes of a match in their short history, was their first since last season’s grand final.

Coach Tony Popovic said he wasn’t too concerned by the setback, in a game where his side dominated possession and had more shots than the Roar.

“We’ve had a good start to the season but last year we had a terrible start and finished on top,” he said.

“There’s no getting too carried away or getting too down on the result.”

Popovic said the substitution of Japanese star Shinji Ono before halftime was precautionary, with Ono complaining of tightness in his groin.

“I’m not too sure how serious it is, not really serious,” he said.

“He wasn’t moving freely there so we felt best to take him off.”