Fury has come a long way
ROBBIE Fowler is quietly confident of erasing one of the lowest points of his glittering career and kicking Gold Coast while they are down tonight.
Fowler denied “revenge” was a word being used by North Queensland, but freely admitted the Fury was hungry to show just how much it had improved since itsround two 5-0 humiliation at Skilled Park.
But the former Liverpool star is wary of a United backlash following its A-League record 6-0 loss in Wellington.
“It will be massive for us. If we play one team and get beaten 5-0 and play them again a few months later and win – it will be a measure of how far we’ve come,” the NQ skipper said.
“Wellington have given Gold Coast a hiding and we know what that feels like, and they always say beware of the wounded animal, so we’ll be on our toes.
“We’re under no illusions but the boys are quietly confident.”
Fowler’s optimism has been fuelled by NQ’s maiden home win, 2-1 over Perth last weekend, and just one loss in the past nine games.
The ex-England striker has six goals to his credit this season with the injury-hit Fury, but won’t forget the embarrassment of the round two thumping, which prompted outside calls for the club to gain FFA assistance.
While still last on the A-League table, the Fury sit just three points behind sixth place and are 10 off pace-setters Sydney FC with 15 rounds to go.
Now, it’s the Coast under the gun with cost-cutting plans to cap Skilled Park’s crowd at 5000 drawing widespread indignation.
Billionaire owner Clive Palmer refuses to budge on his controversial plan but denies the club is in crisis.
He says his cost-cutting response to low attendances was “taking the battle head-on” by ordering three of Skilled Park’s four stands to be closed.
It will save him at least $100,000 in paying a state government transport levy and extra stadium staff.
Not only has the move been widely attacked, a record low A-League crowd of less than 1632 – set by the now defunct New Zealand Knights – has been tipped to watch the Queensland derby.
But Palmer, blamed by A-League boss Archie Fraser for focussing more on self-promotion than local community connections, saying the measures were designed to keep the fledgling club in operation.
“Enough is enough when it comes to pointing fingers at Gold Coast United for its perceived lack of community involvement and poor crowd figures,” he said..
”Gold Coast United is not in crisis, it is dealing with a reality of a saturated marketplace, state government stadium charges and poor crowds across the A-League.“
Palmer insisted 5000 – 1.4 per cent of the local community — was not an unrealistic or unacceptable crowd figure for his new club compared to crowds in Sydney (0.29 per cent), Brisbane (0.48) and Melbourne (0.51) in terms of population base.