Thijssen learning on the fly

Brisbane Roar’s new interim coach Frans Thijssen says he is learning on his feet as he attempts to turn the side’s fortunes around this season.

Following a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Dutchman maintained he is still getting to know the players he is coaching, having only had several days to work with them after the club parted ways with Mike Mulvey.

He even had trouble with some of the players’ names, referring to Shane “Stefanutti” in the post-match press conference when discussing Corey Brown’s solid performance filling in for the veteran at left-back.

Overall, though, the former Ipswich Town player was pleased with the fight Brisbane showed after going down an early goal.

Brazilian Henrique grabbed an equaliser for the Roar with five minutes left on the clock.

“It was four days of training so it was a week where you got to know the players and work with them,” Thijssen said.

“I had a good feeling before the game, and for me it’s important when you go 1-nil behind, especially for the guys because confidence is already low.

“In the first half we lost too many balls in dangerous areas.

“In the second half it was a lot better and we looked the stronger team.

“I think in the end we deserved the point.

“It’s positive that the group came back, we had to settle for 1-1 and I can live with that.”

Thijssen said he opted not to make too many changes to the side while he gets to know his chargers.

He started with the same XI who took the field the previous round under Mulvey, with the exception of Brown coming in for Stefanutto.

“You stick a little bit with the same team,” Thijssen said.

“It wouldn’t be good for the confidence of the players if I changes the whole team.

“So I built on that from last week.”

The new manager was happy with the contribution of Mensur Kurtishi, who came off the bench late on and helped provide a focal point for the Roar’s attacks.

“You hope with Kurtishi that he’ll keep the ball, because they have a lot of big guys.

“Henrique is always dangerous but he can play on the left or right so you bring a fresh player to see if you can break down this defence.

“They have a lot of big players so you need a target man.”