Brisbane Roar interim coach Darren Davies said his youngsters “will be better” for experiencing a 4-0 away thrashing at the hands of league leaders Perth Glory on Saturday night.
Davies was scratching for positives after a critically understrength Roar were outclassed by a side that now sits nine points clear at the top of the table.
But he said despite conceding four “poor goals” the night was a “learning moment” for a team hobbled by a string of injuries and suspensions.
Key striker Adam Taggart departed for South Korea during the week and Luke DeVere (knee), Jack Hingert (knee), Thomas Kristensen (ankle), Alex Lopez (suspended), Stefan Mauk (groin), Connor O’Toole (broken leg) and first choice keeper Jamie Young (suspended) were all absent. Brett Holman (knee) has yet to play a minute this season.
Any thoughts of building on last week’s stunning 2-1 home win over Sydney FC quickly dissipated as Glory took a 3-0 lead into the break courtesy of Jason Davidson (19’) and Andy Keogh (35’, 45+3’). Diego Castro completed the rout in the 54th minute.
Davies said: “We started with six Australian players aged 22 and under. So we’re giving youngsters game time. It’s an experience for them this evening. It’s a learning moment for them and they’ll be better for it.
“I don’t want to make excuses but as I say let’s look at the positive… It’s a big learning moment for them about where we’re at compared to the team at the top of the league.”
Davies said the team was disappointed with their first-half showing but after a team talk emerged better in the second 45.
“We conceded poor goals from our point of view. But let’s give Perth credit, they’re a very good side and they top the league for a reason.
“From our point of view we need to be better. Keogh can’t be unmarked in the box. If Castro’s got time and space in the box we’re asking for problems.
“We spoke at half time about a couple of things tactically and trying to come out and win the second half. And to the boys’ credit they came out – they gave all they’ve got.
“We couldn’t do anything about that first half. We talked about a positive performance in the second half. And like I said I thought the boys did that.”
He added: “We’re hurting (now) but come Monday training we’ll be fully focused and moving forward to next weekend.”
Roar, who are in 9th spot and 16 points of a finals berth, take on cellar dwellers Central Coast Mariners on Friday.