Brandon Borrello of Brisbane Roar and Kim Seung-Jun of Ulsan Hyundai FC compete for the ball at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium
Brandon Borrello of Brisbane Roar and Kim Seung-Jun of Ulsan Hyundai FC compete for the ball at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium Han Myung-Gu

'We're suffering': Aloisi urges FFA to fix scheduling

BRISBANE Roar coach John Aloisi called for a "common sense" approach to fixture scheduling after his side were humiliated by South Korean club Ulsan Hyundai in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday night.

In one of the worst nights in Roar history, a tired Brisbane were thumped 6-0 in Ulsan.

It was not only embarrassing for the Roar, but for the entire Australian football fraternity.

A-League clubs continue to struggle in this year's Champions League, with Western Sydney Wanderers spanked 5-1 by Chinese club Shanghai SIPG on the same night.

Aloisi felt such one-sided scorelines against Australian clubs could be avoided if Football Federation Australia officials were more flexible with their scheduling of A-League matches.

The Roar were playing their ninth match in 32 days in a gruelling schedule that has included trips to China, South Korea, Perth and Melbourne, and sometimes breaks of less than 72 hours between matches.

"There's not much common sense in that," said Aloisi, whose side has been hit with a spate of injuries in the past month.

"Eventually it's going to catch up and eventually people are going to get hurt. We're suffering for it.

"The scheduling's caught up on us. I'm sure that the FFA will look into it and make sure this doesn't happen in the future. It's only hurting the A-League and it hurt us definitely (against Ulsan).

"It's nearly impossible if they don't help with the scheduling of the league. They have to sit down with coaches and clubs and make sure that they learn from these mistakes because we will."

 

Joe Caletti of Brisbane Roar in action during the AFC Champions League Group E match at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium
Joe Caletti of Brisbane Roar in action during the AFC Champions League Group E match at Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium Han Myung-Gu

Tuesday night's spanking came just 20 days after the Roar shocked Asia by beating cashed-up Shanghai Shenhua 2-0 in China to qualify for the Champions League group stages.

"You don't want to look for excuses but the reality is less than a month ago we beat a very strong side with our best side away from home, but then within 70 hours we have to play Melbourne City, and then we get an injury, and then we travel to Perth," Aloisi said.

"Everyone was going on about how good we were and about how strong Australian football is becoming after we won in Shanghai, but they (FFA) can't let it go like this because it's not right for the players, it's not right for Australian football."

The Roar, who had been beaten 2-1 three days earlier at home in a pedestrian display against Wellington Phoenix, capitulated from the outset in Ulsan, with the hosts having sealed the game by the 34th-minute when they extended their lead to 3-0.

Three more second half goals added further salt to the Roar's already gaping wounds.

Former Croatian under-21 international Mislav Orsic and midfielder Kim In-Sung each scored twice for the hosts, while striker Ivan Kovacec and substitute Lee Jong-ho netted Ulsan's other goals.

"The positive thing from tonight is that the young boys have played in the Asian Champions League and they know we'll get punished if we make mistakes," said Aloisi, whose defence included teenager Kye Rowles and 20-year-old Cameron Crestani.

"The players are distraught. No-one likes losing, and when you lose like that, it's not easy but it's a wake-up call for everyone.

"When we're at our best, we can compete with Asia, but when they (FFA) make it nearly impossible (with the scheduling), it's going to be hard."

The Roar are sweating of the fitness of Thomas Kristensen ahead of their A-League clash against the Jets in Newcastle on Sunday, with fears the Danish international midfielder has torn his quadriceps muscle.

News Corp Australia


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