Brisbane Roar sharpshooter Jamie Maclaren has revealed the half-time motivation which sparked his side’s stunning three-goal turnaround against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.
The hosts scored three goals in 16 second-half minutes to turn a 3-1 deficit into a stunning 4-3 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
Maclaren, who scored Roar’s third, said they were determined to send a warning to potential Finals Series opponents.
“We said at half-time teams are going to see, even if they’re in front at Suncorp, it’s going to be hard [to beat us],” Maclaren told Fox Sports.
“It’s good character from the boys and I’m proud of them.”
Maclaren’s second-half equaliser elevated his season tally to 19 goals, enough to share the Golden Boot with Besart Berisha.
While that marked his 50th Hyundai A-League goal, the 23-year-old missed a chance to become the season’s outright leading scorer with a failed penalty attempt in the 76th minute.
“Obviously I’m disappointed personally. I should have buried the penalty,” the Roar striker said. “I’ve scored five [from the spot this season] and the penalty wasn’t good enough.
“It’s been a good season for me overall but for the boys it’s great to get the result and next week is important.”
Wellington coach Des Buckingham says the defensive frailties exposed in the defeat are a symptom of the Kiwi side’s shortcomings.
“We’ve had more shots than [Brisbane] have had tonight, had as much as possession as they have, and to come here and put on that kind of display of attacking football is great,” Buckingham said.
“The frustration and probably the frustration of our season has been the defensive side of it.
“I think at half-time it could have been 6-6.
“It’s cost us points and those points have ultimately cost us a position in the playoffs.”
Sunday’s match brought an end to Buckingham’s interim spell in charge after he and Chris Greenacre took over from Ernie Merrick in December. Buckingham confirmed the pair would this week be separately interviewed for the position on a full-time basis.
“I’ll be interviewing for the role, as will Chris and as will other candidates from my understanding,” the former Oxford United first-team coach said. “The football club will make the best decision they feel that will take this club forward and if that’s me, great, if it’s somebody else then they’ll make that decision.”