Fowler backs Roar to cause a Cupset
TEN years ago, Robbie Fowler had a date with Sydney FC when starting life as an A-League player with North Queensland Fury.
On Wednesday night, the Liverpool legend is hoping for a happier ending in his first competitive outing as Brisbane Roar coach - also against the Sky Blues - in a FFA Cup round of 32 clash at Leichhardt Oval.
While Fowler scored in his Fury debut on August 8, 2009, a Sydney side containing the club's current coach Steve Corica and former Roar boss John Aloisi won 3-2 in Townsville.
Aloisi scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute after Fowler netted his own spot kick on the hour mark to level scores at 2-2.
"I don't really talk about it," Fowler quipped when asked about that match in Townsville.
But all he has been talking and thinking about is Wednesday night's match, when the Roar will attempt to cause a "Cupset" against the reigning A-League champions.
"We've worked hard, we know how important this is," Fowler said.
"It's a big, big game for the lads, and for me, especially, I can't wait, I really can't.
"Of course it's a tough start, but we're not a bad bunch ourselves.
"We go into the game as massive underdogs, we know that, but sometimes underdogs win games."
The Roar have been scoring for fun in pre-season trials, including a mysterious behind-closed-doors affair last week against the Ipswich Knights.
But their effort of not conceding a goal in four trials has perhaps pleased Fowler just as much as the 28 goals his team has netted.
"You look at the form of Brisbane Roar last year, and defensively we were very, very poor - I don't think you can deny that fact," said Fowler in reflecting on the Roar embarrassingly conceding 71 goals in 27 A-League matches last season.
"This year we look a stronger team, we look a stronger unit, we look a stronger squad … but nothing is like the real action."
Fowler has totally revamped Brisbane's playing roster, bringing 13 fresh faces into the Roar squad.
A host of those are expected to start Wednesday night, although Welsh attacker Aaron Amadi-Holloway will miss the match with a hamstring injury, while midfielder Aiden O'Neill - on loan to the Roar from English Premier League club Burnley - seems a doubtful starter after running laps of the field at training Tuesday as the team prepared for Sydney.
"Not every player is ready, but … we've got other players as well. It might open the door for someone else," Fowler said.
"We welcome that. We've got a good squad of players who can come in should someone maybe not make it."
WEDNESDAY NIGHT'S FFA CUP ROUND OF 32 MATCHES
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar, Leichhardt Oval, 7.30pm. Live on Kayo
Brisbane Strikers v Wellington Phoenix, Perry Park, 7.30pm. Live on Kayo
Melbourne Knights v Adelaide United, Knights Stadium, 7.30pm. Live on Fox Sports 507 and Kayo
Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets, AAMI Park, 7.30pm. Live on Kayo
Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers, Dorrien Gardens, 8pm. Live on Kayo
Stream every game of The FFA Cup Round of 32 LIVE & Anytime on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial & start streaming instantly