Robbie Fowler accused of being ‘impolite’ to Adelaide coach
ADELAIDE United coach Gertjan Verbeek has taken aim at Brisbane Roar counterpart Robbie Fowler for expressing an interest in the services of Reds star Ben Halloran for next season.
Former Roar attacker Halloran, whose Adelaide contract expires in May, returns to Suncorp Stadium tonight when Brisbane host the Reds in a crucial A-League contest.
Brisbane are five points adrift of Adelaide and, in the battle for top-six spots, don't want to fall further behind the South Australians.
Halloran looms as a key factor in Saturday night's game, with the former Socceroo's recent form - including a brace in Adelaide's 3-1 last-start win over Melbourne City - having caught the attention of Fowler.
This week, the Liverpool legend told The Courier-Mail that Cairns product Halloran had been discussed as a potential recruitment target for next season.
Fowler was on Friday asked again about Halloran, saying the ex-Gold Coast United prodigy was among a host of players the Roar were eyeing off for next season.
"There's lots of players who are off contract and we look at them all," Fowler said.
"Ben's on the back of a little bit of form himself and scored a couple of goals last week.
"I think he'll want to do well every week regardless of who he's up against and what managers are looking at him.
"It's football. He wants to play and score goals every week. It's our job to try to stop that."
Fowler's comments earnt the ire of Adelaide's Dutch coach.
"I think it's not polite to talk about players from my team," Verbeek said.
"I don't talk about players from his team."
Fowler also discussed the return of Stefan Mauk to Suncorp Stadium. It will be the midfielder's first appearance for the Reds since parting ways with Brisbane last week.
"It'll be good to see him, but we've only seen him a few days ago," Fowler said.
"Things happen in football. Sometimes you're in the manager's players or not - it's the way the football world is.
"He's coming here, he'll probably want to do well, but likewise he'll probably want to do well in every game he plays.
"It's going to be a tough game for him, but it's up to our lads to try to combat whatever he throws at us."
Roar skipper Tom Aldred said Brisbane's midfielders would "relish" the task of getting the better of Mauk.
"Mauky's gone his own way and the lads wished him all the best but come Saturday he'll be a rival, so the lads will be ready for the battle," said Aldred, who also confirmed the reliable Daniel Bowles would replace the suspended Scott Neville in Brisbane's backline.
"Bowlesy will step in … he's a more than adequate replacement."
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