Brisbane Roar coach Frans Thijssen has demanded improvement from his players after a 3-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.
The loss leaves the Roar outside the play-off spots going into the mid-season break and the Dutchman pulled no punches in assessing his side’s performance.
“Not positive at all,” said Thijssen.
“You can give a goal away but you have to fight back and that fighting back, I didn’t see. We lost so many balls, simple balls in a one-against-one (situation), like last week in the first half against Sydney. We lost too many fights.
"Sometimes you have to fight to get back in the game. That wasn’t there today. You can lose games but not the way we lost today. I’m not happy with it.
“You need a couple of guys to stand up when you’re 1-0 down and things are not going well. You have to make sure you fight as a team and make sure you wake up the players around you. You can’t always win games with nice football. We never got back in the game and that was the biggest problem today.”
Thijssen believes the three-week A-League break for the Asian Cup has come at the right time for his side.
“We have to look at the group. It’s good for us that a couple of guys are coming back from injury because in certain positions we have a problem, especially when you need to stand up and when you need to fight back. That’s what I missed from the team today," he said.
The Roar boss was also incensed with the awarding of a penalty to the Phoenix after Jeremy Brockie collided with Jamie Young early in the second half.
“What can the goalkeeper do there? He (Brockie) is running into the goalkeeper and he gets a penalty," Thijssen said.
"The referee doesn’t give the penalty, but the linesman gives the penalty. It was a strange thing. After that you had the feeling it was over.
“I blame the referee a little bit because he didn’t make the decision – he left it to the linesman – but I blame my players more because we didn’t show enough today.
“There were some players with their heads down and that’s not good and something we have to look at. If you throw in the towel that quick in the game, that’s not a good thing.”
But Thijssen admitted his side were second best on the day.
“Wellington deserved to win. They were the better team," he said.