McCloughan Calls For Improvement
Words: Aaron Cooper & Michael Flynn
Image: Andrew Shaw/VisibleFocusPhotography
Brisbane Roar Youth Coach Josh McCloughan says his squad faces a tough internal challenge against Melbourne City Youth on Saturday in the Foxtel National Youth League.
Young Roar need all three points against City Youth – while also relying on Perth Glory Youth defeating Conference A leaders Adelaide United Youth on Sunday – if they are to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the Foxtel National Youth League Grand Final.
That means improving on their performance in the reverse fixture in Melbourne in December – a match that McCloughan says is the only time he was disappointed with his side’s performance this season.
“Every game aside from the [Melbourne] City game I can honestly say I’ve been happy with how we’ve gone about the football game,” McCloughan said.
“I made it clear that I wasn’t happy with the way we played down there and would like to see improvement.”
“That’s our internal challenge. I would like to see us perform better in relation to this opposition (Melbourne City).”
Coming off a last start loss to Perth Glory Youth, McCloughan’s side will also be without attacking trio Nicholas D’Agostino (suspended), Harrison Sawyer (injured) and Shannon Brady (elevated to Roar’s Hyundai A-League squad) for the match.
McCloughan says those absences provide opportunities for others to come into the squad and put their best foot forward.
“Football is all about opportunities. Every day when you train you get an opportunity. During games you get opportunities,” McCloughan explained.
“I’ve said to the players that I will never leave a player out who’s taken an opportunity. If you get the chance, it’s up to you to take it.”
Last weekend’s result was defined by missed opportunities for Young Roar in front of goal – with the side unable to find the back of the net against Glory Youth despite dominating the contest from the outset.
Midfielder Jesse Daley (pictured) said he and his teammates continues to focus on capitalising on their forays into the attacking third.
“It’s been a focus point for the last couple of weeks, making sure we’re more clinical when we create chances,” Daley said.
"City is always a tough game and it’s important that we get back to doing the things the way Josh wants us to," he concluded.
This weekend's results has the potential to determine this year’s Grand Finalists, with wins for Adelaide United Youth and Sydney FC Youth enough to guarantee them top spot in Conference A and Conference B, respectively.
Foxtel National Youth League 2015/2016
Round 9 - Saturday, January 9
Brisbane Roar FC Youth v Melbourne City FC Youth
Cleveland Showgrounds, Redland City
Kick-off at 4:00PM