Brisbane Roar are just holding it together defensively, interim manager Darren Davies revealed following their 4-1 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night.
The Roar opened the scoring through Dylan Wenzel-Halls after only seven minutes but were powerless to stop Western Sydney thumping in four of their own on a bleak night at Suncorp Stadium.
Compounding the home side’s misery was an injury to centre-half Daniel Bowles, playing out of position at right-back, to leave Brisbane with yet another makeshift back four.
Davies was blunt post-match, admitting Brisbane were simply between a rock and a hard place.
“We’ve only got five defenders so it wasn’t much of a decision [Bowles at RB],” Davies said.
“After the transfer window we lost Luke DeVere, we lost Jack Hingert, we lost Dane Ingham, all season-ending so we’ve literally got five defenders including young Izaack Powell, 17 years old, so there’s very limited options so hopefully Bowlsy hasn’t done anything too significant and he’ll be able to recover.
“[It’s] very, very difficult because the transfer window’s closed so after it’s closed we lose three defenders, all season-ending, so now the transfer window’s closed you can only bring in NPL [players] which we are having a look at and anybody who’s out of contract in the January window so it’s very, very difficult at this moment in time.”
Despite the bright start, Brisbane faded badly before half-time, a fact not lost on the Welshman, who took over from John Aloisi in December.
“We scored a great goal, good combination play, Matt McKay with a little flick around the corner in the middle of the park, ball switched to Dyls and he comes inside and a tremendous finish and I thought well that’s a really positive start,” Davies said.
“But thereafter in the first half we didn’t pass the ball as well as we could, we didn’t get on the football. We didn’t control the game as we would have liked to have done and Western Sydney were on top.”
Despite conceding a league-high 50 goals this campaign, Davies refused to point the finger as his defenders, saying the responsibility must be shared in across all areas of their game.
“What I would like to say is we defend as a team, we attack as a team,” he said.
“We’re a collective there so we need to defend better as a team but yes championships I suppose are built on defence and keeping clean sheets so that’s certainly an area it’s obvious we need to improve.”