Fowler demands Roar show some fight
How Brisbane Roar respond to their embarrassing display against Sydney FC will show what it really means to the club's host of new players to represent the three-time A-League champions.
Saturday night's capitulation against the Sky Blues was unacceptable.
Losing to the champions is no disgrace, but the manner of the 5-1 defeat was intolerable.
Livid coach Robbie Fowler told his team post-match that such performances would no longer be accepted, and rightly so.
Stream every game of The 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season LIVE & On-Demand with KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Fowler has often spoken about the spirit and the fight in his revamped squad.
But there was none of that evident at Jubilee Oval as the Sydneysiders ran rampant.
The manner which Brisbane conceded three first-half goals was particularly disturbing.
They were all painfully similar, with Sydney being afforded far too much space, which allowed their midfielders to feed Kosta Barbarouses, who in turn laid the ball off to unmarked teammates, who did the rest.
Where was the desperation? Where was the fight? Particularly against a club that are the Roar's greatest A-League foes when taking into account the "State of Origin" rivalry and the lack of a second Queensland team in the competition.
One of the reasons Fowler went to the British lower leagues to recruit a host of seasoned professionals was because they knew, supposedly, how to scrap, how to pick up points and how to avoid glaring defeats because their livelihoods and their clubs' survival often depended on it.
Fowler knew he needed some resilience in the squad after Brisbane's farcical defending last season. But there was no resistance at all on Saturday night.
Perhaps the danger of bringing so many new faces at once to a club is that there will be too many players who take time, in this case, "bleed orange".
While the Roar are only eight games into their season, and there's an argument that a squad with so many new players needs time to click, their weekend submission was disturbing.
Friday night's game at Suncorp Stadium against Western United can't come quick enough for Fowler, who deserves better from a host of players he has given chances to.
"I hope the players are hurting as much as I am," Fowler said.
"There needs to be a reaction."
There will surely be team changes this week, but what's in need of most alteration from the weekend is attitude.
Roar chief executive David Pourre said: "I'm expecting a response on Friday. We know we are better than what we showed against Sydney."
It's time to prove it.