Markus Babbel has the Wanderers flying high after three rounds.
Markus Babbel has the Wanderers flying high after three rounds.

Babbel wishes Fowler best of luck ... after clash

ROBBIE Fowler's belief that he's on the right path with Brisbane Roar has been reaffirmed by his former Liverpool teammate and A-League coaching counterpart Markus Babbel.

After contrasting starts to the season, Fowler's Roar and Babbel's Western Sydney Wanderers go head-to-head at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.

The Wanderers have made the perfect start, sitting on top of the table with nine points from three matches.

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It has been tougher for Fowler in his debut A-League coaching campaign, with his revamped Roar team yet to win either of its opening two games.

But Babbel, in his second year at the Wanderers following a disappointing first-up season, has been impressed by what he has seen from Fowler's men.

"(They are) a bit similar to us, they changed a lot like us, and they play a really good style of football now like us," Babbel said.

"I hope they can improve. Not on Saturday, but after this he can win every game.

"This is fantastic for the league to bring out a person like Robbie here in this country. Great experience, top pro, top lad, everyone can enjoy it, and you see the difference now.

Fowler is looking for a change of fortune this weekend.
Fowler is looking for a change of fortune this weekend.

Fowler and Babbel were part of a Liverpool squad that in 2001 won a treble of trophies - the FA Cup, the English League Cup and the UEFA Cup.

"Markus is a nice fellow, and he's doing a great job at the Wanderers," Fowler said.

"It's a compliment that he made a comparison between our teams because they're top of the league, so that tells you that we're not a million miles away ourselves.

"You get what you deserve in football. At times they've played really well, at times they've rode their luck and they've defended brilliantly in all their games.

"They're obviously doing something right."

The pair's friendship will be put to one side for 90 minutes on Saturday, but Fowler intends to meet with Babbel after the match.

"We'll have a fair bit to catch up on," the Roar boss said.

"It's not going to be like it was years and years ago when we'd go to have a few drinks. We'll have more of a football chat, a managers' chat."

Fowler said his side was "playing some great football" and was confident of a good display against the competition leaders.

"Obviously you want to win games. This game is important because it's the next game not because we haven't won yet," he said.