Roy O'Donovan return not on Roar's mind

Brisbane Roar coach Robbie Fowler believes Roy O'Donovan will be more motivated to do well for Newcastle than prove a point to him in their A-League clash.

ROY O'DONOVAN.
ROY O'DONOVAN. Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty Images

Brisbane Roar coach Robbie Fowler isn't concerned Irish striker Roy O'Donovan will have a personal point to prove in Friday's A-League clash against the Newcastle Jets.

O'Donovan will face the Roar behind closed doors at CBUS Super Stadium on the Gold Coast for the first time since leaving the club in January after a brief 11-game stint.

Despite the 34-year-old's time at the Roar ending in disappointment for the player, Fowler was adamant there was no bad blood between either party.

"I don't think he'll have a point to prove with me," Fowler said.

"I know Roy, he's a good lad, he's a good player ... I don't think you can deny that, his goal record speaks for itself.

"He went with our best wishes and we've got no qualms with Roy ... sometimes players don't really work in certain situations, whatever club it's at.

"He'll want to do well, obviously, because he's at a new club."

The Roar were originally due to face Melbourne Victory this weekend, while the Jets were set to face Wellington Phoenix.

With both those teams in isolation after travelling from New Zealand during the past week, league bosses only announced on Thursday the make-up of this weekend's fixtures.

Fowler said the preparation wasn't ideal but he and his staff had just tried to prepare as best as they could.

While an empty stadium adds an extra challenge, he was hopeful both teams can put the distractions to one side.

"It's up to every player on the pitch - whether it be us or whether it be the Newcastle Jets players - to try and make as good an atmosphere out of the situation as possible," he said.

"I hope it's our boys who do that better."

The Roar have included 17-year-old defender Jordan Courtney Perkins in their extended squad following the teenager's recovery from a knee injury.

Newcastle, who have climbed to ninth under new coach Carl Robinson following a six-match unbeaten run, head north with a squad including new arrivals Joe Ledley and Bernie Ibini and marquee man Wes Hoolahan.

Panamanian international Abdiel Arroyo has also been included after missing last weekend's win over Adelaide with a hamstring strain.

KEY MATCH STATS

* Newcastle are undefeated in their past seven matches against Brisbane, including five wins.

* Brisbane Roar have won their past four A-League games in succession; the last time they won more consecutive games was a five-game stretch from March to April in 2016.

* Jets striker Roy O'Donovan has scored four goals in his past four appearances against the Roar.


AAP