The Brisbane Roar have regained their confidence and a seven-point A-League lead following their 3-1 win over Perth Glory.
Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe considered sending long-time sparring partner Mike Mulvey a bill after helping play Brisbane Roar back into form.
The pressure valve was released on the A-League leaders on Friday night as the Roar ended their worrying late-season rut with a 3-1 victory over the last-placed Glory at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane dominated possession throughout but it was only after a 57th-minute goal to Ivan Franjic that they regained the confidence and crispness that have been hallmarks of their success.
The Roar added to Perth’s pain with two more in the final 10 minutes, including a calamitous goal to ex-Glory midfielder Liam Miller following a terrible error by young defender Brandon O’Neill.
While Brisbane coach Mulvey claimed his side had played themselves back into form following upset losses to Newcastle and Melbourne Heart, Lowe begged to differ.
“With us giving them the two cheap goals that’s allowed them to get back to form,” he said.
“I don’t think they got back to form. I think we helped them back into form.
“If I whip an invoice into Mike he might pay me out.”
Lowe felt the Roar were toothless in the first half and blamed simple errors by Josh Risdon and Jake Clisby that led to the Thomas Broich’s free kick for Franjic’s goal. Then came O’Neill’s howler.
Broich sealed the deal with superb strike in the 85th minute that had the 10,896-crowd into raptures.
“You can’t do two things against this side,” Lowe said. “You can’t not take your chances, and we had one or two that were half-decent really early on, and you can’t give them the first two goals, because there’s no coming back from that.”
Mulvey was delighted his team, again holding a seven-point buffer over Western Sydney, stood up after being criticised for losing their speed, precision and decisiveness in recent weeks.
“I was really pleased for the players, and very proud, because we’ve copped some stick of late,” he said.
“We’ve still got a long way to go in terms of top quality but that was someway towards it.
“We played ourselves into form. I thought our interplay was excellent.”