Moon transitioning his squad and style in hopes of a positive return

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Following Brisbane Roar’s 2-0 victory over Newcastle Jets on Sunday night, coach Warren Moon has stated his intent to transition his squad into a team that plays with pace no matter what that means for certain players.

The Roar squad that was listed for Sunday night’s game featured seven changes from the team that lost 3-0 to Wellington Phoenix mid-week.

These changes to the starting team paid off as the Roar ran over the top of Newcastle in the latter stages of Sunday night to come out 2-0 winners.

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Roar coach Moon is beginning to prioritise youth, pace and skill over experience as he adapts his squad’s playing style.

“I can’t be any more direct and clear with what I’m looking for moving forward with this group; I want speed, mobility and an ability to work both ways without the ball,” Moon said.

Having played in a certain style all season, Moon is now prepared to pivot away from that and focus on something different.

“We’ve persisted with players all season in a certain style, obviously it hasn’t been the best but it was what we as a staff felt was the best to get results,” he said.

It is undeniable that the Roar have struggled to stamp their authority on matches all season and the 3-0 loss to the Phoenix on Wednesday was the clearest example so far.

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Brisbane were run off the park and lacked cohesion out on the field making the loss to Wellington the breaking point for Moon.

“I said to the group after the Wellington game, we’re now looking at what we want to do moving forwards and we want to be more upbeat, more up tempo, and to do that you need fit, fast, mobile players,” he said.

The win against the Jets strengthened the idea that an overhaul is exactly what the Roar need to improve on a disappointing season so far.

The Roar looked sharp and dominated Newcastle for most of the game playing with pace and style.

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“We spoke about playing a more attacking, aggressive style of football which is more in keeping with what we want to do,” he said.

Having tested and succeeded in their new playing style, the Roar are aiming to finish their last seven games stronger than their first 19.

Moon was encouraged by what he saw from his young team and has faith they’ll finish the season strong.

“Moving forward with the players I have selected today compared to others they’re a lot younger but they have the capacity and the ability to play and that’s what I’m looking for,” he said.

Despite not entirely ruling out a finals berth, Moon is looking towards next season.

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The Brisbane coach is providing A-League Men experience to players he believes are ready to make that next step.

“We’re at that point now where we’re keeping one eye on next year and you saw tonight we’ve put young players on in key moments to expose them and to actually see what they’ve got,” he said.

Moon wants to see a positive trend established as Brisbane enforce their new style on the league.

He expects his squad to go out every match day and play their way, hopefully taking points out of all their remaining games.

“We’re going to have a crack in every game and try and pick up as many points as we can regardless of whether there’s finals in that conversation we’re gonna try and do as much damage as we can to the teams around us,” he said.

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The Roar currently sit eight points out of the finals places.

A run to the finals has seemed nearly impossible for the Roar all season but if they can continue to grow into their new style with different players in key positions nothing is impossible.

If the young players Moon entrusted on Sunday can take it to the rest of the league through the Roar’s new style of pace and skill there’s no limit to how far they can go.

Feature image credit: Brisbane Roar FC

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Bill Hedley
Journalism under graduate at the University of Queensland. I have been a die-hard football player and fan for the past 16 years and am now a passionate multimedia Journalist, covering Brisbane Roar for the 2021/22 A-League season.

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