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16 Dec 2017 5:01
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  •   Home > News > Sports

    New Roar A-League attack needs time: McKay

    Pre-season injuries and visa problems have stopped Brisbane Roar's new-look A-League attack from finding common ground, captain Matt McKay says.


    Brisbane Roar skipper Matt McKay has warned it will take time for the A-League club's remodelled attack to find its groove.

    A spate of pre-season injuries and French import Eric Bautheac's visa issues have limited the amount of training minutes the Roar have had to bed down their new front-third combinations.

    Last week's lacklustre 2-0 season-opening loss to Melbourne City proved not everyone is on the same wavelength, with marquee striker Massimo Maccarone toiling up front without adequate service on his A-League debut.

    Midfielder Brett Holman will make his return from a calf injury in Friday night's clash with Adelaide United at Suncorp Stadum, but the former Socceroo is being handled with care after being sidelined for the last month and may come off the bench.

    Others, like Fahid Ben Khalfallah, are also coming off interrupted preparations.

    "The joy of the A-League is we have a long pre-season, so we've had time. But it hasn't always worked out with the injuries to a lot of players," McKay said.

    "The combinations will get better and better over the course of the season.

    "(We need to) just be a bit more positive in the way we play, a bit more cohesion. And we've got to get the ball into the big men a bit earlier and really feed off (Maccarone).

    "But we need to try and click straight away and if we can do that, the goals will start coming and we'll get a bit of confidence throughout the team."

    Adelaide drew 1-1 with Wellington last weekend in new coach Marco Kurz's first game in charge.

    The Reds brought in some impressive signings in the off-season, including Australian-born Turkish international Ersan Gulum, Algerian playmaker Karim Matmour, Danish winger Johan Absalonsen and experienced German Daniel Adlung.

    Many have tipped them to become title contenders.

    "I expect Adelaide to play different to what they played in the past," Brisbane coach John Aloisi said.

    "Under Gombau and then Amor, there was a different style of football. Now they're very direct, they do it well.

    "They've got players who can run all day because they're fit. We know they'll try and knock long balls in behind, get crosses in, they've got big players.

    "It's going to be a difficult game for us but we're ready for it."

    STATS THAT MATTER

    * Brisbane will be looking to avoid opening the second of their past four campaigns with consecutive losses after having never done so in nine campaigns prior.

    * Adelaide made 69 passes into the final third during the opening round, more than any other team in the competition.

    * Adelaide have won three of their past five games against the Roar including a 2-1 win in their most recent meeting.


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