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Jan 30, 2010

Beating Sydney FC allows Roar to smile

All the frustration of a tumultuous four-month stay finally boiled over for Brisbane Roar coach Ange Postecoglou in their crunch A-League clash against Sydney FC.

He kicked water bottles, yelled at officials and jumped out of his sideline chair so often it appeared to be electrified.

But by fulltime on Saturday night Postecoglou could afford to smile for perhaps the first time since controversially taking over the Roar reins in October.

Postecoglou was the first to admit plenty of work lay ahead in the final two regular season rounds if they were to make the finals.

However, the Roar coach believed their upset 1-0 victory over the competition heavyweights at Suncorp Stadium finally showed there was light at the end of the tunnel for the besieged club.

With legendary former striker Patrick Kluivert - on a two-week guest coaching stint - watching on, fellow Dutchman Sergio van Dijk's deflected shot in the 88th minute sealed the win and kept Brisbane one win outside the top six with two matches left, both away.

The Roar's first win since December 19 was just what Postecoglou needed after "copping some heat" for his player cleanout since taking over from sacked coach Frank Farina.

The likes of marquee player Craig Moore, Charlie Miller, Danny Tiatto and Liam Reddy have moved on since Postecoglou's arrival.

He could have felt some vindication for his controversial youth policy after the likes of Michael Zullo, Tommy Oar, Luke DeVere and Adam Sarota stood tall to deny Sydney FC a chance to top the A-League ladder.

However, Postecoglou said: "It is not about vindication, it's about sticking to what I have started.

"I am not going to stop what I have started because I am copping some heat - that's part of coaching.

"You just have to believe what you are doing (and) I really believe that we needed to restructure the club.

"The young boys, and the experienced players we have got I think will lead us in the right direction. The core of this group has outstanding potential."

Postecoglou admitted their final home match was crucial to their finals hopes but claimed that was not what spurred them on.

"For us the main motivation was giving the fans something. It was our last home game (so) it was a big night for the club," he said.

"I am sure they will go home happier (on Saturday night) and maybe forget some of the troubles that we have gone through."

Postecoglou even believed the traumatic season would fast-track his young brigade's A-League education.

"You look at players like...Luke DeVere, Sarota, these young guys have been through a tough time," he said.

"And I think they are going to be better players for this club."

Postecoglou was enraged at times by some of the officials' decisions on Saturday night.

The most notable was Sydney FC keeper Clint Bolton escaping a red card when he appeared to handle the ball outside his area in the 29th minute to blunt a Reinaldo raid.

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