Brisbane Roar Manager Mike Mulvey has refused to blame the patchy Suncorp Stadium after his side fell 2-0 against Newcastle Jets to record their first home defeat of the season.
The surface was visibly affected by recent concerts at the venue by Taylor Swift and Bon Jovi, however a somewhat circumspect Mulvey said that it was his players and not the surface that bore responsibility for the result.
“(The surface was) the same for both teams, we just weren’t quite on our game in terms of when we got (the ball) and played. So no, no issue,” Mulvey said.
Despite having no qualms with the surface, which saw a wicked bobble fool Roar midfielder Ivan Franjic in goal-scoring position in the opening exchanges, Mulvey identified the speed of passing as the crucial factor in the match.
“I really wasn’t happy with the ball speed at half time so we spoke about that.,” Mulvey explained.
“We spoke about moving the ball a lot quicker because basically if you take an extra touch and you waste a second that’s five metres someone can make up.
“We were allowing them to get their numbers behind the ball and didn’t move the ball quick enough so that was a problem for us tonight.”
Roar saw the better of the early exchanges before a tactical reshuffle from Jets manager Gary van Egmond inspired the visitors to an unlikely victory.
James Donachie slid in a cutback from Andrew Hoole to open Jets account with an unfortunate own goal, before late substitute Joey Gibbs pounced on the counter attack in the final minutes to seal Newcastle’s fifth win of the season.
“They came with a particular game plan and changed their formation a couple of times in the first half to combat what we were doing,” he explained.
“Then they get the goal, a bit of a messy goal on our behalf, and then they sat back.”
However, when pressed by interstate media, Mulvey refused to concede his opposite number had out guiled him on the night.
“No compliments to the opposition coach for that, I actually think that we should have solved the problem more so than what they did.”
“They were just filling the hole,” Mulvey said.