Roar aims to tune up on Coast
BRISBANE Roar coach Rado Vidosic says tightening the side's defensive patterns will hold the key to keeping the club's dynasty alive.
The two-time reigning A-League champion will take on the Central Coast Mariners in a pre-season hitout at Stockland Sunshine Coast Stadium on Sunday.
After taking the reins from Ange Postecoglou, it is Vidosic's final chance to finetune his players before their October 7 A-League season-opener against the Perth Glory.
Like any coach taking over from a highly successful and beloved predecessor, the affable Vidosic is aware of the weight of expectation.
Having been a part of the club since day dot, however, he says he does not feel the need to impose his own personality and philosophies on the side, preferring to think he and his players are already on the same track.
He said the task before him this season was to merely continue the ongoing process of finetuning the team's structure, with particular attention focused on keeping more clean sheets.
Last season the Roar held their opponents scoreless on eight occasions, compared to 13 in the previous season.
It is a statistic Vidosic is particularly mindful of improving as the side shoots for three consecutive premierships.
"We're just looking to defend as high up the pitch as possible, try to defend as far away from our goal as possible," he said.
"It's something we've done for the last two years and something that we'll continue to try to do.
"But we also want to have a plan B and plan C, if something goes wrong. This is the difficult part."
The Roar recently re-signed star German attacking midfielder Thomas Broich, goalkeeper Michael Theo, skipper Matt Smith, striker Henrique and defender Ivan Franjic to multiple-year contracts, as well as giving veteran Shane Stefanutto a deal that will keep him at Brisbane until the end of next season.
The fact that the Roar has managed to keep most of its playing roster intact has put it in the box seat to defend its title.
Vidosic says he plans to run out a full-strength side against fellow 2011-12 finalist the Central Coast Mariners at Kawana on Sunday.
The Roar is coming off a 5-1 win over Sydney FC in Mackay and apart from midfielder James Meyer Brisbane, it should have a full complement of players at its disposal on the weekend.
"It will definitely be the strongest side that we can put out at the moment," Vidosic said.
"We played on a hard ground in Mackay on the weekend, so we still have to have a look at how the boys pull up."
GAME DAY - ROAR v MARINERS
- Stockland Sunshine Coast
- Stadium, Sunday, 3pm