Roy O'Donovan was benched against Newcastle. Picture: Albert Perez/Getty
Roy O'Donovan was benched against Newcastle. Picture: Albert Perez/Getty

God challenges Roy to Roar back to form

UNREPENTANT Roar coach Robbie Fowler has challenged dumped striker Roy O'Donovan to earn back his Brisbane starting spot.

A prized off-season recruit and the club's vice-captain, O'Donovan was dropped to the bench for the Roar's 1-1 weekend draw with his former club Newcastle Jets.

And while the Irish marksman added some spark to Brisbane's attack after entering the contest in the 75th minute, O'Donovan is at long odds to start on Wednesday night when the Roar meet Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium.

Fowler was happy with the weekend effort of Aaron Amadi-Holloway and teenage debutant Mirza Muratovic in attack, with the pair deserving of an opportunity to start together again at O'Donovan's expense.

Watch every Hyundai A-League game LIVE & On-Demand on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >


"Of course Roy's disappointed - he wants to play all the time," Fowler said of the man who has scored six of Brisbane's 10 goals this season.

"But ultimately it's me picking the team I think will do the job.

"Now it's up to Roy to react the right way, and I have no doubt he will.

"We want him to do well, we want him to score goals, we want him to be a handful, and this might be a little reminder for him that he has to do a little bit more, work harder and do certain things he's not used to.

Roy O'Donovan has scored six goals this season. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty
Roy O'Donovan has scored six goals this season. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty

"That's how it is with football. People are upset all the time. You can't keep everyone happy."

With or without O'Donovan, the Roar still must improve in attack to drag themselves away from the foot of the ladder.

"It was probably slightly better in the final third," Fowler said of his side's attacking performance in Newcastle.

"But we do need to start getting wins on the board and we rather get them sooner rather than later."

There will be at least one change to Brisbane's starting side on Wednesday night, with midfielder Aiden O'Neill - who provided the assist for substitute Brad Inman's equaliser in Newcastle - having left for Olyroos duty at the AFC Under-23 Championships in Thailand.

Candidates to replace O'Neill in the Roar's starting XI include Inman, Stefan Mauk who was an unused substitute on Saturday night, George Mells and Rahmat Akbari.

The Roar are also sweating on the fitness of skipper Tom Aldred, who was forced off early in the second half against the Jets with a groin problem.

"He overstretched and felt a little bit of a pull," Fowler said of Aldred.

"I don't think it's too serious. A few players will get assessed on Monday morning and we'll see where we are.

"The Wanderers game is close but no-one's ruled out just yet."

Teenage defender Jordan Courtney-Perkins is facing an extended period on the sidelines after tearing a knee ligament at training last week.