Mulvey’s Roar Prey on Vulnerable Reds

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Mike Mulvey expressed belief that Adelaide United’s game plan can be exploited after his Brisbane Roar side stretched their A-League lead to 10 points in Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Reds.

Brisbane captured a 2-0 lead at Suncorp Stadium early in the second half thanks to a Besart Berisha brace, before the visitors found consolation through Jeronimo Neumann’s sizzling stoppage time strike.

“They’ve changed the way they play a little bit,” Mulvey said.

“It’s not this way that has been really thrust down our throats earlier in the year. It’s not a lot different but it is different.

“There’s some parts of it that I think you can exploit and I think we tried to do that.”

Adelaide boss Josep Gombau pinpointed his team’s lack of patience following the hosts’ second goal, a Berisha bullet, as turning the match.

“When you start to lose 2-0 you want to arrive in the last third faster because you feel you don’t have time in that moment,” Gombau said.

“You start to put more long balls and you have less possession of the ball. This is a mistake because in the end we are training to play more building from the back.”

Berisha’s clinical performance also served to highlight the loss he will be to the premiers-elect upon joining Melbourne Victory next season, but Mulvey confirmed replacements have been identified.

“Of course we are [on the lookout to replace Berisha],” he said.

“I’ve got three very good candidates that I’m looking at in Europe. We’re doing some more investigation in those regards.

“But I want to enjoy his time here and I want him to enjoy his time here for the rest of the season and let the fans get to see him without fear of failure, without any concerns about how he is treated as a Brisbane Roar player.”

Mulvey, meanwhile, was pleased with the organisation of the runaway league-leaders, who in the early stages were heavily out-possessed by the Reds.

“Three or four years ago Brisbane Roar taught the league how to play football,” he said.

“Now there are more teams, and Adelaide are one of them, that are trying to play good quality football.

“So we have to learn to play periods of games without the ball and I thought we did that at times very well.”

While the defeat meant they finished the round in fifth, Gombau was upbeat about United’s future both near and far.

“In the end this is our first season and our objective is to create this style which I think we are doing so well,” the Spaniard said.

“I am satisfied, but of course we will fight and we want to be in the finals.”

Mulvey hoped treatment to the inflamed ankle of Socceroos full-back Ivan Franjic had come quick enough while confirming Jade North was substituted as a precaution for hamstring tightness.

Matt Dorman

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