FORMER Adelaide and Sydney coach John Kosmina says Brisbane can no longer use their injuries as an excuse for their difficulties.
The Roar suffered another loss — despite a brave second half performance in Newcastle — losing 1-0 to the Jets on Friday night.
Brisbane sits in ninth place on 13 points, five points out of the six and a full 25 behind table-toppers Sydney FC.
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Coach John Aloisi said his team had struggled with injuries and underdone players again, citing Eric Bautheac and Avram Papadopoulos’ match fitness.
“It’s been a tough season, it’s been really hard,” Aloisi said on Fox Sports’ coverage post-match.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries since day one and then players that have come back in, they’re still a little bit underdone.
“Eric Bautheac, he did well tonight, but then he couldn’t last the 90 minutes because it was a risk, and then Papadopoulos’ first game back after seven.
“It’s hurt us but we’ll keep going and we’ll make sure that we pick ourselves up and try and get the result against Perth at home next week.”
Kosmina said while Aloisi had been optimistic about his team going forward, the body language of certain players said otherwise.
“If you’re not playing well and you’re not getting results, coaches will always paint a picture that’s rosier than it might really be,” Kosmina said on Fox Sports’ coverage.
“I’m not saying that John’s telling fibs or anything like that but that’s what you’ve got to do — and you’ve got to do it for the sake of your players as well, and for your club, you can’t be too negative.
“Behind closed doors it might be a different story.
“There’s a couple of blokes that probably need a good kick in the backside because the body language, as much as Johnny tries to stay positive, I think the body language of a couple of the players tonight wasn’t real good at times during the game.”
Kosmina said the Roar needed to move on from the injuries excuse and accept they generally hadn’t played well enough this season.
“This is what happens when clubs, I wouldn’t say they’re fractured but things aren’t going right,” he said.
“But this stuff about ‘alright, we have had injuries’ — it’s round 16, it’s a little bit too long, there’s only 11 left.
“It’s like you’ve got to get over that now and start saying ‘we’re not playing well enough.’ People aren’t doing their jobs.
“Because people only take so much of the rhetoric, they can only swallow so much. The people of Brisbane are voting with their feet at the moment and not turning up.”
Despite the Roar’s dire position, Aloisi said he still believed his side could make the top six.
“We know that we’re going to get better because of the players that we’ve had out and the ones that have come in,” he said.
“In a salary capped league, if you lose your better players, it can hurt you a bit and we’ve lost quite a few of them.
“So we know we’re going to get better it’s just that it’s hard to take when yiou don’t get the result or any result when you put on a performance like that.
“So we just have to make sure that we keep positive and we still believe that we can still make the finals — I know it doesn’t seem like we can because we’re a bit far at the moment but we know that if we start winning football games, that can change very quickly and the confidence comes back, the belief of winning football games comes back.
“The belief was there tonight in the football we played but probably just not the belief in getting a result.”
JETS PUT FOOT DOWN, THEN LET ROAR BACK IN
THE Roar dominated the opening 10 minutes, with their intensity and pressure keeping the Jets on edge.
But things all changed in the 11th minute, when Newcastle put the foot down.
Daniel Georgievski found Andrew Nabbout with a pinpoint long ball, with the striker controlling the ball on his chest before cleverly flicking it into the path of Jason Hoffman, who took a touch then finished with aplomb.
“This whole team – and this is where Ernie Merrick … deserves a lot of credit because you look at Andrew Nabbout, who’s been there or thereabouts, Dimi Petratos, there or thereabouts, Jason Hoffman – he was a left back and now he’s back to his original striker role,” Kosmina said post-match.
“But they are playing with confidence and they’ve got belief. And the thing is, once you’ve got that kind of freedom and you know that things are going right you can get away with it.
And Jason Hoffman’s touch on the goal … was magnificent.”
The Jets then dominated the rest of the half but were unable to find a crucial second goal, with Jamie Young continuing his stellar form in between the sticks.
Kosmina said the Roar had given playmaker Dimi Petratos far too much space to operate in.
“Look I preface that by saying there’s only one team in it at the moment and that’s Newcastle,” Kosmina said on Fox Sports’ half-time coverage.
“Brisbane are trying and John Aloisi talked about desperation and we’ve seen odd moments of it.
“But if Brisbane were that desperate, they wouldn’t have conceded a goal. If they were more desperate, Dimi Petratos wouldn’t be finding the space in the middle of the park that he’s finding.
“Brisbane’s playing two No.6s, Matt McKay and Thomas Kristensen and they’re not getting it right in terms of balance because Petratos is always finding space in between them and Newcastle can always find an out through him to get forward.”
After half time, Brisbane found something.
Aloisi’s side dominated possession and generally had the better of play, yet were unable to snare an equaliser.
“With half an hour to go or thereabouts, Brisbane started to find themselves, they started to control the game,” Fox Sports’ Andy Harper said.
“They’ve looked a much more solid unit … it’s been a really dogged performance from the Roar.”
THE MOMENT THAT SHOWED JETS RECRUIT’S TALENTS
IN the 53rd minute, Roar veteran Thomas Kristensen was faced with a tough challenge: stopping the onrushing Pato Rodriguez.
He elected for a less-than-attractive method: dragging the winger back.
“Well apart from that just being ugly, what I think that does is completely hand over the psychological advantage to Pato,” Fox Sports commentator Andy Harper said.
“He’s had three touches since half time, he’s already thinking ‘these blokes can’t get within a bull’s roar of me.’”
When asked whether the Roar should replace Kristensen, given his failure to deal with Rodriguez’s pace, Harper said it was something Aloisi could consider.
“I’d be a lot more confident persevering with Thomas Kristensen because of his experience, had he not just got the yellow card for that yank of the shirt, which tome was just like waving the white flag – ‘I can’t deal with this.’”
That said, Rodriguez was unable to have an impact on the scoreboard at the end, with the Roar getting on top late in the game.
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