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Jan 28, 2012

Roar's defence again caught napping

Brisbane Roar have literally become the sleeping giants of the competition after their defence was again caught napping in the first half of an A-League match.

The Newcastle Jets had their first win on the road in more than 12 months when skipper Jobe Wheelhouse scored in the 23rd minute from inside the penalty box on Saturday night.

The 1-0 win at Suncorp Stadium lifted the Jets from ninth to seventh on the table and also ended an away hoodoo.

They had not won on the road since defeating the defunct North Queensland Fury 3-1 on January 8 last year.

But the loss might have a bigger psychological impact on the Roar.

It was ninth time in their past 11 matches that they have conceded the opening goal in the first half.

The outcome of those matches has been six losses, two wins and one draw for the A-League champions.

On three occasions, the opposition has scored inside the opening six minutes including Sydney FC netting within 60 seconds of kick-off in week nine.

Roar's premiership coach Ange Postecoglou acknowledges something's amiss.

"Ultimately, if we are going to chase games of football, it's going to make it very hard for us to be successful on a consistent basis," Postecoglou said.

"You can't always be pulling games out of the death.

"It's alright to be doing it a few games, but we are consistently chasing games."

He said the side's dilemma was more psychological than anything to do with personal or anyone not following team plans.

"It's not about structures; it's not about individual performances," he said.

"It's lapse of concentration in defensive sense and then we are chasing games of football and that's the kind of cycle we are in right now."

Jets coach Gary van Egmond has given an insight into how sides are splitting open the Roar's defence early.

He said his plan was for quick transitions out of defence and avoiding the right flank where the Roar's defensive general Ivan Franjic controls the flow of play, and target the side patrolled by Shane Stefanutto.

"We tried to get the ball come more to Stefanutto's side than Franjic," van Egmond said.

"It's probably more damaging going down the right hand side than where Shane is."

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