Kosmina focused on next week as players in ‘good nick’ adapt well to late shift against Redlands United

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Brisbane City head coach John Kosmina was thrilled with his sides performance against Redlands United on Saturday night, but that there is still an awful long way to go in the National Premier Leagues Queensland season.

City ran out 3-0 winners over Redlands United, recording just their second opening-day victory in the National Premier Leagues era to get off to a roaring start in Kosmina’s fourth year in charge.

A hallmark of the performance was the composure at the back, something that was sometimes lacking a little during the 2018 season, a feature Kosmina attributes to the inclusion of Italian defender Mattia Bonatti, one of two new signings on display on opening night.

“Defensively, Mattia Binatti was fantastic,” Kosmina said. 

“He reads the game so well, he’s just a clever defender and he gives the blokes around him confidence.

“He settles (Tom Aulton) down and gives him composure, and I thought Mark Stuart was outstanding tonight as well.”

Despite receiving plenty of joy down either flank, Kosmina was keen to praise the spine of his team, with two other new faces to the side – last year’s youth team captain Jaiden Nightingale, and new signing Jean Carlos Solorzano – both singled out for praise.

“Jaiden Nightingale did well in the middle of the park and I think Niko Solorzano played himself into the game.”

Jean Carlos Solorzano scored 17 goals for the Brisbane Roar in the A-League. By Ray Gardner.

“I didn’t actually intend to play him 90 minutes, because he only started training late, but you saw tonight what good quality he’s got, a clever player.”

Pleased at how his team applied themselves, Kosmina put the result down to the squad’s pre-season efforts, and noted that his side adapted well to the late withdrawal of Rhys Raymond.

“We had a bit of set back with Rhys being injured against the Chinese team the other night,” Kosmina explained. 

“Rhys has had a fantastic pre-season – so it was a bit makeshift in terms of slinging Kye Bolton in there because he hadn’t played that role, but it’s not too different to what he did last season, because he played wide on the right for us, so it worked out ok from that point of view.”

City ran out 3-0 winners over last year’s relegation candidates Redlands United, who are much changed from that side under new coach Cleberson, but Kosmina noted that the scoreline should have been much “nicer” to his side had they converted all their chances.

“The three goals really should have been six. We should have had at least one more in the first half and the second half we could have had four or five.”

City hit the woodwork four times in the match, and had any of those gone in, it would have been a much more comfortable evening.

“One of them we got the rebound in so that worked out alright, but if you get one of those, two of those, it makes it more… it’s a nicer score.

“But yeah the clean sheet is good.”

“They didn’t really create, Jake Clancy didn’t have to make a save.”

Jake Clancy marshalling the defence. By Ray Gardner.

Clancy might not have had to make a save, but City were put under pressure at times by a willing Redlands United team, and Kosmina was pleased with the way that his side coped with those spells of pressure.

“Yeah we did scramble, we scrambled one in the first half and we scrambled a couple in the second, but that is what you need to do.”

It is frightfully early in a 30-game-long season to be looking anywhere near the table as of yet, but Kosmina refused to play down the importance of such a good start, especially considering some of the other results around the state on opening weekend.

“It’s three points,” Kosmina said. 

“If you look at the other results, now we’re two points ahead of a lot of teams, and three ahead of a few more as well.

“It’s three points they’ve now got to catch up, so it gives you a game up your sleeve. A little bit of money in the bank is always handy to have.”

As for his players as a whole, Kossie knows they will not be getting ahead of themselves, but will be happy with their evening’s work.

“They’re in a good space, the players,” Kosmina added.

“They’re in good nick physically as well, so we just need to back it up next week and then see how we go the week after. One week at a time, you know.

“It’s the start of the season and it’s a cliche, but we’ve just got to work out what we need to fix from tonight and then we’ll have a crack at Sunshine Coast next week.”

City take on Sunshine Coast in Kawana on Sunday, kick off at 4:30pm. You can watch a live stream of the match via the Football Queensland website.

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