AAP Soccer

City can overcome no Maclaren in A-League

By AAP Newswire

Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts says while it is frustrating to be without Jamie Maclaren for their A-League season-opening derby, he is confident his other forwards can cover for the Socceroo.

The decision to start the A-League in an international window means City must face Melbourne Victory on Saturday without Maclaren, after his hat-trick for the Socceroos against Nepal on Thursday night in Canberra.

"I'm very disappointed about this situation, but it's not under my control, so we have to do without Jamie. I congratulate him for his hat-trick yesterday but, yes, I'd prefer to have Jamie with us," Mombaerts said on Friday.

"It's difficult to replace Jamie but we have some solutions with some young guys ... we trust in young players.

"We can substitute Jamie (with) Lachlan Wales or Moudi Najjar, or (Ramy) Najjarine or another solution (is) we can play with a false No.9 also with Adrian Luna."

Mombaerts said City would not be changing their system in Maclaren's absence, but would need other players to step up, including English recruit Craig Noone.

"Maybe some players have to take some responsibility to score," he said.

"Craig Noone is one of them but I also expect maybe Adrian Luna to help the team, maybe also Connor Metcalfe or Ramy."

Meanwhile, Mombaerts said he would look to support Wales and Nathaniel Atkinson, who were among four Olyroos issued a "show cause" notice by the FFA after an incident in March in Cambodia.

Wales, Atkinson, former City - now Adelaide - midfielder Riley McGree and Perth midfielder Brandon Wilson had a complaint against them over an incident on the final night of their trip to Cambodia, where the Olyroos were playing a qualifying tournament for next year's Olympics.

Both Wales and Atkinson have been named in City's squad for Saturday's game.

"My reaction is first, the FFA is dealing with this situation that's happened away," Mombaerts said.

"And also ... young players can make mistake(s).

"So one thing - we need to know more; I need to know more - about this situation. I don't know exactly what's happened and, at the moment, I try to support the players in this situation.

"But please, with young players, we need some time to help because you can make mistake(s)."