Jamie Maclaren could earn a recall against the Phoenix.
Jamie Maclaren could earn a recall against the Phoenix. JULIAN SMITH

Brisbane Roar must battle for points, says coach

FOOTBALL: Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi says his team will need more than good football when it takes on an in-form Wellington Phoenix in the A-League in New Zealand tomorrow night.

The Phoenix upset the apple cart when beating Melbourne Victory on its own patch 3-0 on Tuesday night and has not lost in the last three meetings at home with the Roar.

Aloisi said it was clear where the Phoenix had the upper hand in that win and said his team must be ready.

"We must have taken a lot of energy out of Victory (in last weekend's 3-2 defeat) because Phoenix definitely won the fight,” Aloisi said.

"I heard their players and their coaches saying they had to win the fight first and they did that.

"So we have to match them.

"You match them with that and there is more opportunities to win the football game.

"If we go over there thinking our football is going to win the game then it's not going to happen.

"You have to make sure you are up for that battle.”

"You win that and there's a good chance you will get the victory.”

Aloisi would not say whether striker Jamie Maclaren would earn a recall tomorrow after being left on the bench in Melbourne last week but said the frontman had shown he was ready to fight for his place.

"He has responded well in training,” the coach said of Maclaren

"As with any player, he wants to start, he wants to play.

"The way to show the coach you want to play is to perform in training and then when you get the opportunity in games, you take that.

"Jamie is no different to anyone else.

"He wants to keep on improving as a player and that's all I can ask.

"We have got a busy schedule coming up that's going to be hard over the next few weeks.

"Sometimes when I leave out players, it looks like they have been dropped but that's not always the case.

"There will be times I need to rotate, especially the front three.

"Players will focus on their job. Their job is to perform well. Everyone is in the same boat.”

Despite a run of three straight defeats which has seen the Roar drop to fourth on the ladder, Aloisi said there were plenty of positives ahead of tomorrow night's clash in Wellington.

"I would read the riot act if the boys weren't playing the way I wanted them to play or I could see the effort wasn't there or I saw they gave up,” he said.

"We were 3-0 down in the blink of an eye against Melbourne Victory.

"There were a couple of things we could have dealt with better but I don't think we deserved to be 3-0 down.

"And the reaction from the players was amazing.

"We started the game really well. Then there was a 10-minute period where they scored three goals out of nothing.

"Then we could have gone in at half-time 4-3 up.

"That's a positive. That's saying the boys believe in what we are doing, they have belief in the group and if you play like that, you will get results.”

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