Confident but Wary ahead of Queensland Clash

Canberra United head coach Robbie Hooker believes if his team plays the same way this weekend against the Queensland Roar, as they did last weekend against the Jets, they can come away with a justified reward time around.

Canberra United head coach Robbie Hooker believes if his team plays the same way this weekend against the Queensland Roar, as they did last weekend against the Jets, they can come away with a justified reward time around.

Despite going down 2-1 to the Newcastle Jets in Round One, Canberra United dominated possession and peppered the Jet-s goal without luck but came away positive in their ability to create chances.

“From last week-s game all the players are very confident in how we played and there-s a good buzz around the team despite the loss but everybody there knew that the score line wasn-t a true reflection of how we played,” Hooker said at the airport as the team departed for the sunshine state.

“If we can play the same or similar to last week, I-ll be reasonably happy with the team.”

Canberra United faces the toughest task in the Westfield W-League, lining up against competition favourites on opposition soil in what is forecast to be scorching heat with the temperature set to reach 30 degrees on Saturday. “The team we-re up against is certainly going to be the difference in how we approach this game,” Hooker said.

“Last week away I thought it was quite a winnable game but this week we-ll be happy if we can get something out of it with the quality of the opposition we-re up against.”

Despite the challenge, Hooker believes that the Roar are a beatable side as Canberra United will be looking to capitalise on a few weaknesses such as speed and the relatively inexperienced goalkeeper coming into the Queensland line up for the match.

“They-ve got a very experienced and well credentialed backline but one thing they probably do lack is a bit of pace and that-s in our favour so we-ll try and exploit it,” Hooker said.

“[Queensland are] favourites to win the competition so they-re not going to be an easy team to beat by any stretch of the imagination but they-re a team that in certain areas we can find some weaknesses.“

“There-s certain areas of the game that [Canberra United-s Queenslanders Kara Mowbray and Sasha McDonnell] have spoken to me about and certain players if they play.”

“They-re without a couple players as well so I-m not sure of their start line up but I-m sure that they-ll be an experienced side with a couple of debutants as well.” “We-ve based a lot of our focus on set plays and making sure the delivery and the timing of runs is good enough to put pressure on the goalkeeper in that situation but having said that we need to make sure that we play well enough to get into positions where we can apply some pressure.” A few forced changes to the line up through injury to Caitlin Munoz and international duties for Christine Walters, Bronwyn Studman and Ashleigh Sykes sees Michaela Day and Ellie Raymond join the team while Snez Veljanovska and Jennifer Bisset line up as permanent members.

One thing is for certain though; it could be Canberra United-s efforts in front of goal that could ultimately decide the outcome of the match. “[Making the most of our opportunities] would certainly be a bonus,” Hooker said.

“If we get half as many chances as we did last week I think we-ll be pretty happy.”

“Whether we take those opportunities is another thing.”