Robbie Fowler got his A-League coaching career off to the best possible start in the FFA Cup.
Robbie Fowler got his A-League coaching career off to the best possible start in the FFA Cup.

Fowler happy for Roar to ‘slip under the radar’

BRISBANE Roar coach Robbie Fowler is pleased his new-look side are still flying "under the radar" despite a strong preseason.

The Roar kick off their A-League campaign on Sunday with an away clash against Perth Glory at HBF Park.

It's a tough start for the revamped Roar, with the Glory having topped the table last season.

However, Brisbane have shown in the FFA Cup and the preseason that they will be anything but the easy-beats they were during their disastrous 2018-19 campaign.

In Fowler's first competitive game in charge in August, the Roar beat last season's A-League champions, Sydney FC, 2-0 in an FFA Cup round-of-32 match.

Brisbane were beaten in the Cup round of 16 by eventual semi-finalists Central Coast Mariners, but only in a penalty shootout after scores were locked at 2-2 at the end of extra-time.

Roar knocked over Sydney in the FFA Cup.
Roar knocked over Sydney in the FFA Cup.

The Roar also won the preseason Surf City Cup, beating the Glory and Newcastle Jets despite fielding under-strength line-ups in both games.

Brisbane were rarely troubled in trials against NPL Queensland teams and regional select squads, but were held to a 2-2 draw by Peninsula Power last Saturday at AJ Kelly Park.

Despite his side's consistent form, Fowler was bemused but content that few rated the Roar as genuine contenders.

"We've gone under the radar a bit, but we're happy with that," the Liverpool legend said.

"You look at all the pundits, and everyone's not writing us off, but no one's really giving us that much hope.

"We can go along quietly, start doing our business and as long as we play the right way, we'll get results, we really will.

"(But) we got to Perth absolutely as underdogs. We're playing against a great team with a great manager who have great individual players and play as well as anyone as a team. They proved that last year."

The Roar are set to field a completely different 11 on Sunday to the side that started in their final match of last season, with New Zealand international goalkeeper Max Crocombe set to start ahead of Brisbane's reigning player of the year, Jamie Young.

Likely Roar XI (3-5-2): Crocombe; Neville, Aldred (c), Gillesphey; McGing, O'Neill, Mauk, O'Shea, O'Toole; Inman, O'Donovan.

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