FFA Cup tie exciting Roar coach Fowler

Brisbane Roar's Robbie Fowler (c) is looking forward to starting his coaching stint in the FFA Cup.
Brisbane Roar's Robbie Fowler (c) is looking forward to starting his coaching stint in the FFA Cup.

He's played in the biggest cup competitions across the globe but Robbie Fowler cannot wait to get his Brisbane Roar reign underway in Wednesday's FFA Cup tie against Sydney FC.

The Liverpool great, who won the FA Cup, UEFA Cup and European Super Cup during his playing career, will face the Sky Blues at Leichhardt Oval in his first competitive fixture as a full-time coach.

"We know how important this is. It's a big, big game for the lads and for me, especially, I can't wait, I really can't," Fowler said.

"I've been proper excited for a while now."

The Roar will be looking to end a miserable run of outs in the cup, with a round of 32 victory over West Australian NPL club Stirling Lions in 2014 the only time the club has won in the competition.

Adelaide United beat Brisbane in the round of 16 of the inaugural FFA Cup competition and since then the Roar have been eliminated by A-League opposition at the first hurdle every year.

Fowler is out to correct some personal history too, having suffered a 3-2 loss to Sydney FC on his A-League debut as a player for North Queensland Fury in 2009.

"We've got the players as ready as they can be. It's a big game. We've got nothing to lose," the ex-England striker said.

"Hopefully all the pressure will be on Sydney and our lads can just go out there and perform to the best that they can. I'm sure we'll make a game of it."

New recruits Aiden O'Neill and Aaron Amadi-Holloway are in doubt for the match after both did light duties at training on Tuesday.

Even if they don't play, expect plenty of new faces in the Roar's orange shirts after Fowler overhauled the squad which performed so poorly in the 2018-19 campaign.

Sydney will also have some new faces on display with ex-Victory striker Kosta Barbarouses joining the A-League champions along with Luke Brattan and former Western Sydney import Alexander Baumjohann.

With their squad having recovered from the illness which swept through the team ahead of their pre-season friendly against French giants Paris St Germain in China, midfielder Brandon O'Neill says the team is firing on all cylinders again.

"Competitive game, you can see the kind of focus sharpens, everything kind of angles in to one thing - that's performance," said O'Neill, who was one of the players laid low in China.

There are two other all A-League clashes on Wednesday with Melbourne Victory playing their first game under new coach Marco Kurz against Newcastle while Perth host coach Tony Popovic's old club Western Sydney.

Cup holders Adelaide face a tricky trip to face ex-NSL powerhouse Melbourne Knights at Somers Street while a much-changed Wellington Phoenix under Ufuk Talay face a tricky road trip to take on the Brisbane Strikers at Perry Park.

FFA CUP ROUND OF 32 TIES ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 7 (all times AEST)

Melbourne Knights v Adelaide United, Knights Stadium, 7.30pm

Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar, Leichhardt Oval, 7.30pm

Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets, AAMI Park, 7.30pm

Brisbane Strikers v Wellington Phoenix, Perry Park, 7.30pm

Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers, Dorrien Gardens, 8pm

Australian Associated Press