Fowler era at Brisbane begins with drama

Brisbane Roar have claimed a late draw in Perth in manager Robbie Fowler's first A-League game.
Brisbane Roar have claimed a late draw in Perth in manager Robbie Fowler's first A-League game.

New Brisbane Roar coach Robbie Fowler has praised the fighting spirit of his players following their dramatic 1-1 draw with Perth Glory, but says there's still plenty of work to do this A-League season.

Roar snatched a valuable point from their trip to Perth when star recruit Roy O'Donovan scored a goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time in Sunday's clash at HBF Park.

The goal was initially disallowed because of offside, but the decision was overturned by the VAR.

Brisbane looked patchy in the first half, but they were the dominant team after the break.

Fowler liked what he saw in his first A-League game in charge of the group, which featured nine new players in the starting XI.

The performance of former EPL midfielder Jay O'Shea was particularly impressive.

"We're building a good team ethic at Brisbane Roar," Fowler said.

"Whenever there are lots of new players coming into a team, it does take time to gel.

"Everything that we saw on the pitch in the second half is what we plan on the training pitch - the work ethic, the confidence, the belief in each other, the belief in themselves.

"It's a good start, it really is. But we can't rest on that. We've got to go and do that all the time.

"We've set ourselves standards now, getting in good little habits, and I think we'll go on from here."

Glory coach Tony Popovic says some of his players are still playing catch-up after joining the club late or returning from injury.

"We dropped off in the second half and we know we can get better," Popovic said.

"We're just disappointed, we didn't hold out that last minute there, we had a couple of chances to clear the ball.

"But that happens. The fatigue set in with a large number of players, which is expected.

"It's up to us to increase the minutes, and those minutes will get longer and longer. And in time, we'll put together good 90-minute performances."

In Sunday's other game, Western United started life in the A-League on a winning note with a 1-0 triumph over Wellington Phoenix.

Striker Besart Berisha netted a first-half volley to get the expansion club up and running.

Sydney FC beat Adelaide 3-2 on Friday night, while Western Sydney posted a 2-1 win over Central Coast.

Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City fought out a 0-0 draw.

Australian Associated Press