Victory squad on the chopping block after Brisbane embarrassment

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Melbourne Victory head coach Grant Brebner is prepared to wield the axe following his side’s 5-2 humiliation against Brisbane Roar on Saturday afternoon.

The visitors conceded three goals inside the first 17 minutes at Dolphin Stadium, with coach Brebner labelling the performance as unacceptable.

Brebner has put his side on notice and expects players picked to face Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday evening to fight for their place.

“Today, I am not making any excuses for it. It was unacceptable and all the players know that,” Brebner said.

“The ones [players] that are fortunate enough to play on Wednesday night, will have to show us how much they want to keep that shirt and the ones that don’t, they shouldn’t have any complaints.”

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The head coach was disappointed in the manner his side went down, after conceding three early goals which almost assured the Roar of victory.

“Extremely [disappointing]. To go 3-0 down in under 20 minutes is unacceptable,” he said.

“We are a professional football club. We are professional football players, so we have a responsibility.

“I don’t like losing, but I can handle losing if there’s a manner in which we go about it.

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Brebner did not see the 5-2 demolition coming and was not interested in making any excuses post-match.

“There’s been no indication at all. I’m not even going to mention the obvious one that we could use as an excuse because there were two teams out there,” he said.

“It purely came down to not having the intensity, the desire and the will to step out there.”

The obvious excuse, which captain Leigh Broxham mentioned in a half-time interview with Fox Sports, was the Brisbane heat.

“It is tough conditions. Four o’clock kick off, 30 degrees, it’s not easy. It is a fact, it is not an excuse,” Broxham said.

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While Brebner acknowledged his captain’s opinion, he admits he had never used the same excuse throughout his playing career and time spent playing in Australia for Melbourne Victory.

“Leigh [Broxham] obviously has his opinion, he played in the game. It is easy for me to sit here and say that I don’t think it was [an excuse],” Brebner said.

“But I have played in hot games before and certainty didn’t use it as an excuse in the past.”

The head coach said individual errors and lapses in concentration were major factors in their defeat, an area they desperately need to be better in.

“There were obviously moments where we could’ve defended better, there were individual mistakes, but I think we got what we deserved in that first 20 minutes because we were way off it.”

“We switch off when we make an individual error, and it costs us dearly … we should be doing better.”

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Brebner excepts his side to make amends come Wednesday evening and is hopeful his players will learn from their mistakes.

“I’m not mincing my words in terms of where we are at today, we should be doing a lot better than that.”

“We will have to have a reaction Wednesday night cause like I said, that was unacceptable today.”

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Matthew Tsimpikas
Matthew Tsimpikas
Sports lover studying journalism at the Queensland University of Technology. Covering Brisbane Roar FC in the 2020/21 A-League and W-League.

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