Matt McKay of the Roar reacts to a referee call during the round three A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and the Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Sunday, October 22, 2017. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Matt McKay of the Roar reacts to a referee call during the round three A-League match between the Brisbane Roar and the Newcastle Jets at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Sunday, October 22, 2017. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

McKay: ‘I’m not changing the way I play’

BRISBANE Roar captain Matt McKay isn't about to shy away from making a tackle despite his innocent involvement in the sickening incident that all but ended the season of Newcastle Jets' star Ronald Vargas.

Venezuelan import Vargas broke two bones in his leg and dislocated his ankle as he and McKay challenged for the ball in the second half of Newcastle's 2-1 win over Brisbane at last Sunday at Suncorp Stadium.

McKay, who did nothing wrong in going for the ball, immediately called for a stretcher as he saw the direction Vargas's ankle was pointing.

"It's never nice to see that, especially a player so talented and new to the league," McKay told The Courier-Mail.

"I knew he was in trouble. He was in a lot of pain … you don't want to see that.

Matt McKay says he won’t be changing the way he plays.
Matt McKay says he won’t be changing the way he plays.

"Injuries are a part of football but those kinds of freak injuries can ruin people's careers. I'm just relieved for him that it wasn't a career-ending injury."

McKay said he "completely" understood his part in the incident being momentarily questioned as emotions running high on the pitch.

"People can have their opinion whichever way they want - I don't care," he said.

"I know how I pay the game and I'll continue to play the game the same way."

And McKay hopes that a way that will inspire the last-placed Roar to their first win of the season when they meet Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Dating back to April, Brisbane have lost seven straight matches in all competitions - A-League, AFC Champions League and FFA Cup.

Ronald Vargas being stretchered off the field after breaking his leg against Brisbane.
Ronald Vargas being stretchered off the field after breaking his leg against Brisbane.

"It's our job to get results, and we're not doing that at the moment - we've got to start winning," McKay said.

"It's important we get on a run now. We can't go patchy in being one week good, one week bad."

McKay said he and his teammates had to expect criticism of their individual form given the club's poor start to the season.

"Of course people are going to point fingers at us but we're going to stick together," he said.

"We've been hit before, we'll continue to get hit … it's just the fickle part of football, everyone understands that."

McKay said the tough nature of the Wellington trip would not be an excuse if the Roar lost again on Saturday.

"It is a difficult trip, and it always has been, but we'll do everything right to make sure we're prepared for the game. It's up to us to execute," he said.

"Going over there can be daunting for some, but we've had enough experience with this fixture, so we'll be fine."


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