CLUB UPHEAVAL: Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith uses his head in defence. INSET: Interim Roar coach Frans Thijssen fronts the media.
CLUB UPHEAVAL: Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith uses his head in defence. INSET: Interim Roar coach Frans Thijssen fronts the media. Getty Images Aap

Smith, Thijssen to face coaching uproar head-on

BRISBANE Roar captain Matt Smith admits the past week - with former coach Mike Mulvey being sacked just six months after guiding the team to a championship - has not been a good look for the A-League club.

Roar managing director Sean Dobson has copped a huge backlash from disgruntled fans on social media for making the tough call.

Smith admitted he too was stunned to see Mulvey stood down, after starting the season with just one win and five losses.

Fill-in coach, Dutch-born Frans Thijssen, oversaw his second training session at Ballymore yesterday, ahead of Brisbane playing host to Perth at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

"I don't think it (the past few days) has enhanced the reputation of the club," Smith said.

"We pride ourselves on our culture and certain behaviours, and to a certain extent it was taken out of the control of the club.

"The way things unfolded, no one's happy about it. But Sean was dealt with a major breach and he had to deal with it there and then.

"Someone threw him a curveball and he had to act accordingly.

"It's not a good look, but we pride ourselves on our behaviours and we have to ensure these things are prevented in the future."

Thijssen seemed upbeat about his new role, despite the mass supporter upheaval over Mulvey's sacking.

He has been appointed on an interim basis until the end of this season, but could be offered the role of technical director next season.

"There's a good feeling around the boys, but we know we have to improve on the ball and off the ball," he said.

"It's been a lot of work - a lot of (watching) games and a lot of (new) names, but it's no problem - I can do that.

"We have to make sure we have good players that keep the ball."

Thijssen said he wouldn't be reinventing the wheel when it came to formation or positions - not just yet, anyway.

"No, it's not good for me to change the whole team. The choice will become better in the next couple of weeks I hope," he said.

"At the moment we're confident we can get the result on Saturday."

Smith said Perth, sitting in first place, was "flying high", and that he was expecting a tough and physical game, given the history between the two clubs.

The Roar beat the Glory in injury time in the 2011-12 grand final, after former striker Besart Berisha was awarded a controversial penalty which he converted.


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