Inman's response impresses Roar coach

Ed Jackson
Robbie Fowler says dropping Brad Inman early in the season has paid dividends for the winger

Brisbane coach Robbie Fowler admits he took a chance by axing winger Brad Inman after a sluggish start to his A-League season.

Returning to Australia after a decade in England, Inman impressed in pre-season but was dropped from the starting lineup after the Roar's first six matches of the campaign.

A stunning strike to secure a draw after coming off the bench against Newcastle Jets on December 28 got the 28-year-old back in the starting XI and he hasn't looked back since.

Inman struck the winner in the New Year's Day victory over Western Sydney and then made it four goals in three games on Saturday with a first-half double in the 2-2 draw with Melbourne City at Suncorp Stadium.

"When you've got players who probably can get a little bit more out of them, you've got to treat them a little bit mean," Fowler said.

"We've always said with Brad we're big believers in him and we really want him to keep progressing and keep doing what he's doing.

"He's a great lad, he's great in the dressing room. The lads all love him and you can see for yourself when he's on fire ... he's a tremendous player.'

Fowler will be hoping Inman can continue his form next Saturday when in-form Wellington Phoenix travel to Brisbane.

He won't however be able to call upon the leadership of captain Tom Aldred, who will be suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season in the second half against City.

Experienced fullback Scott Neville also limped off with a lower-leg injury in the first half and Fowler admits the 31-year-old has been carrying a knock in recent games.

"Nevs, he's had a kick for a couple of weeks on his shin. There's plenty of swelling in there," Fowler said.

"I don't think it's too serious but obviously we'll gauge that the next few days and take it from there."