BRISBANE Roar coach Rado Vidosic received criticism from the unlikeliest of sources after his outfit's 2-1 loss to the Central Coast in round eight - from one of his players.
Vidosic said his players were guilty of "kindergarten" defending after that loss, with midfielder Erik Paartalu returning serve by saying everyone at the club needed to stick together and not publicly play the blame game.
But this week Vidosic received praise from another unlikely source - an opponent.
With the Roar to face Western Sydney this Sunday at Parramatta Stadium, Wanderers forward Tahj Minniecon threw his support behind the under-fire coach.
"When I was at the Roar, Rado was the assistant of the senior team and he was also my school coach at Cavendish Road," he said.
"He's had a good impact on my career and my life."
Minniecon was one of his side's better players in last Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Wellington Phoenix.
Despite his own good performance, and Brisbane's 1-0 win over Newcastle last round, both sides go into this clash needing to win, with the Roar in seventh place and the Wanderers eighth.
The Western Sydney club embarrassed the reigning champions at Suncorp Stadium in round four, winning 1-0 and notching up its first ever A-League triumph.
"We went up to Brisbane and beat them and we've done well since then, but the Roar players are capable of quick ball movement. They aren't the champions for no reason," Minniecon said.
Minniecon believes he and his fellow attackers have a golden opportunity to exploit the Roar this Sunday because they will be minus key defenders Matt Smith and Ivan Franjic who are on Socceroos duty.
"They're the backbones of the Brisbane defence, so I'm sure Poppa (Wanderers coach Tony Popovic) will have something up his sleeve," he said.
Indeed, Popovic's influence has been a positive one for Minniecon after he moved to the Roar this year from the now-defunct Gold Coast United.
The former Under-20 and Under-23 Socceroos' move to the Wanderers had been deemed a make-or-break one after injuries and a lack of form saw him fail to meet expectations at the Gold Coast.
"We had a great pre-season and Tony is very professional in everything he does," the 23-year-old said.
"I'm enjoying every minute down here and there are no regrets with moving to Sydney."
Minniecon admitted his teammates were frustrated with the criticism his team had received this season on only scoring five goals from nine rounds.
"We know we're creating the chances, we just need to put them away in front of goal," he said.
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