Coach Mike Mulvey admits some awe at his Brisbane Roar as they stretch their lead at the head of A-League to seven points after round 13.
Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey admits awe at the feats of his A-League pacesetters, but says their mission is far from accomplished.
The Roar’s 3-0 dismantling of Melbourne Victory on Saturday night extends their lead at the head of the table to seven points after 13 rounds.
Brisbane’s triumph came on a weekend when Melbourne Heart’s change of coach didn’t bring a change in fortunes, but some honour in a scoreless draw with Central Coast Mariners.
John van ‘t Schip, taking over from the sacked John Aloisi, watched the Heart produce some chances but ultimately their winless streak extended to 18 games.
The Mariners (21 points) remain third on the ladder, two points behind second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers – but all are well adrift of the Mulvey’s Roar.
The Brisbane coach admitted sitting back and enjoying watching his players run rings around the fourth-placed Victory (19 points).
“I wasn’t looking at the clock or wondering when full-time was, I was just enjoying us play,” Mulvey said.
“We were making a very good team chase, chase and chase and that is very difficult to do. That tells you about the quality of our football.”
Mulvey said he would keep the heat on his players.
“We are on a mission. We are not looking for overnight success, we’re looking for long-term success,” he said.
“That means putting in a shift every single training session to make sure that the next performance can hopefully eclipse the one before.”
Mulvey’s mantra spells trouble for Adelaide United, who travel to meet the Roar next Saturday with injury concerns.
Adelaide, in their 2-2 draw with Sydney FC on Friday night, lost striker Bruce Djite (groin), attacking midfielder Cirio (hamstring) – compounding the pre-game losses of suspended frontman Jeronimo Neumann and Marcelo Carrusca (bruised knee).
Jeronimo and Carrusca should return to front Brisbane, who on Saturday night left Victory coach Kevin Muscat pondering some serious questions – not least about his attacking midfield linchpin Mitch Nicholls.
The Victory mid-week rejected $200,000 offer from J- League club Cerezo Osaka for Nicholls, and Muscat believed the transfer talk unsettled his key player.
“He has got a lot on his mind at the moment and he wasn’t anywhere near his previous best … until this football club accepts an offer for Mitch, he’s a contracted player,” Muscat said.
In other weekend action, Perth Glory snatched a valuable 1-0 away win against Newcastle Jets – the Glory are now just two points shy of the sixth-placed Jets.
The round started last Wednesday when Wellington Phoenix upset the Wanderers 3-1.