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When Robbie Fowler dropped Roy O’Donovan he benched a player who had scored six of the team’s nine goals. A striker with a proven goal-every-two-games record across five seasons within the A-League. But in handing Mirza Muratovic his first start, he threw an arm around a child and told him that he believed in him.

With the advantage of hindsight, the Jets game reveals another inflection point. Seven minutes after Thurgate’s miss, Brad Inman scored a spectacular, albeit fortuitous, goal – the equaliser that day, and his first since returning to Australia. Did Fowler get in his ear before the game? Tell the gifted but confidence-shy forward that he might be a match winner? Fast-forward four games and Inman has four goals to his name.

When he arrived within the A-League, the legend of Liverpool, an unlikely marquee to a football club that became a by-word for failure, Fowler showed none of the temperament of a prima donna. The word from Fury teammates was he was right down to earth – approachable, despite his fabled reputation. judi bola terpercaya

In his first season as head coach, Fowler has offered an insight into the players he likes to figure with. Players like Tom Aldred arrived without superstar or big ego, but quickly became admired inside the room . A player’s captain. The quietly-spoken playmaker Jay O’Shea may lead the league for chances created. But he’s also contested more fifty-fifties than anyone else during a Roar shirt.

Even the January window pick-ups, players like Scott McDonald or Corey Brown escaping club environments that weren’t conducive to helping them flourish, have traits in common with Fowler’s foreigners: hard-working and humble.

A maligned figure in Melbourne, Brown enjoyed only one minute as a winner in Victory blue this season – as a time-wasting sub against Perth. in only eight days he’s enjoyed two victories in Brisbane orange – the foremost recent courtesy his deflected winner. Has Fowler buoyed his spirits? If you asked him he might even eschew his customary “yeah, nah” and just accompany “yeah”.

In a team without ego, the foremost invisible of players has also become an unlikely talisman. Making his reappearance within the side therein fateful Round 12 game was Jacob Pepper. An unobtrusive midfield screener, he covers the turf, he breaks down attacks, and he lays it off to somebody more likely to supply attacking impetus. In fifteen games this season, Brisbane’s record reads 5-4-5. In his seven appearances Pepper’s reads 4-2-1.

He won’t be the player targeted by opposition analysts, but he’s precisely the sort of player who appears to be thriving under Robbie Fowler. And it’s this collective ethos, and growing camaraderie that’s allowed the Roar to seize upon one among football’s many inflection points and obtain their season going.

Jo Brown





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