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Feb 14, 2013

Roar back Mulvey for two more years

A 30 per cent success rate in two months hasn't deterred the Brisbane Roar board who have made the shock move of re-signing coach Mike Mulvey for two more seasons.

Mulvey has guided the struggling A-League champions to just three wins, six losses and a draw from his 10 games in charge to have the Roar eighth on the table.

But the timing of Friday's announcement came as even more of a surprise as it followed the club's "devastating" Asian Champions League (ACL) qualifying failure - losing 3-0 on penalties to Thailand's Buriram United on Wednesday night.

Roar general manager Sean Dobson reiterated ACL participation was a priority for Brisbane but felt stability was crucial as they rebuilt.

Mulvey replaced Rado Vidosic, the club's long-time assistant coach, after 11 games this season.

Dobson said Mulvey had impressed the board and Indonesian owners, the Bakrie Group, more for his background work as the club strives to recover from Ange Postecoglou's move to Melbourne victory.

"If you understand what he's achieved behind the scenes, in the dressing room, the way he has scouted players, what he's doing in terms of leadership structure and providing a really strong vision for the club, you'll see there's a lot of great work there," Dobson said.

Mulvey's reappointment follows Sydney FC's re-signing of Frank Farina on a two-year deal.

Both clubs believe they can overcome their poor first half of the season to make the top six but Mulvey has promised personnel changes for 2013-14.

The Roar have looked a mere shadow of Postecoglou's two-time champions and Mulvey stressed they needed to improve their style of play and fitness levels to bounce back to the top.

"Brisbane has had a famed fitness regime in the past and that will return," Mulvey said.

"There are great (fan) expectations now that have come on the back of two championships.

"You have to manage those expectations and the truth of the matter is we haven't reached those levels this season, for one reason or another, but they will be addressed and there will be changes made."

Mulvey has already started to put his stamp on a regenerating side by promoting youngsters Luke Brattan and James Donachie, and recruiting Jade North and Stef Nijland.

At the same time, Erik Paartalu, Rocky Visconte and Nick Fitzgerald have moved on.

While senior players were not consulted by the Roar's board, captain Matt Smith denied he was surprised by the re-signing and endorsed Mulvey's appointment until the end of the 2014-15 season.

"It is a big step today," Smith said.

"We can focus on the next seven games for the club and then finals and know the direction for the club for the next two years.

"Over the last two months that Mike has been in charge, there's been positive changes. We are moving in the right direction, albeit a bit slow."

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