WESTERN United coach Mark Rudan has joined his Brisbane Roar counterpart Warren Moon in expressing concern about the return of VAR for the A-League finals series.
Rudan’s men and a Roar side featuring former United striker Scott McDonald go head-to-head in an elimination final at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday.
And while Rudan said he had no ill-feelings towards McDonald, who left United in January to join the Roar, the United coach wasn’t pleased about VAR’s return after Football Federation Australia had shelved the video referee system for the closing weeks of the regular season.
Rudan’s objections came only a couple of days after Moon said: “I’ve really enjoyed the games without VAR. If you ask everyone, matches without VAR are certainly quicker and you get used to accepting the (referee’s) decision and moving on.”
Roar striker Scott McDonald is preparing to take on his former club. Picture Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Rudan echoed Moon’s sentiments.
“If you ask the players and the fans they believe without VAR that it's a better spectacle,” the United coach said.
“We believe the game runs more efficiently and smoothly, there aren’t as many breaks and that the officials have done a fantastic job.
“I am not sure if we were asked about it. I certainly wasn’t asked about it if we wanted to have a VAR back or not, so I am not too sure where that decision came from.
“Why change something that’s not broken? I thought they were doing a great job without it.’’
But resigned to the fact VAR was returning, Rudan said United would “deal with it” and focus on the task of beating the Roar, who have been inspired by the form of McDonald.
The former Socceroos marksman has scored six goals in his past seven matches.
“He was one of the inaugural founding players of our football club,” Rudan said of McDonald.
“(But) it’s not about Scott this week, it’s about their team. They’re a very good side and they deserve to be playing finals football this year.”
Rudan said former Roar coach Robbie Fowler, who left the club in June during the A-League’s COVID-19-enforced suspension, and his right-hand man, former Brisbane technical director Tony Grant, had done a “remarkable job” in turning the club around after finishing second last on the ladder last season.
“It took them a bit of time at the start of the (season) but it’s come to fruition and you’ve seen even with the new coach (Moon) coming in, nothing much has changed,” Rudan said.
“They’ve kept the same formation, same system, albeit a couple of different players are playing now.
“They’re a very good, solid team. They’re a workmanlike side both with and without the ball.”
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