Football 3 years ago

Aloisi: No stress over Olyroos losses

  • Aloisi: No stress over Olyroos losses

A-League leaders Brisbane Roar face a huge test of their title credentials over the next month with the loss of Olyroos trio Jamie Maclaren, Brandon Borrello and James Donachie.

Good thing coach John Aloisi has been planning for it since day one in the job.

With arguably the deepest squad in the competition, the Roar is extremely well-placed to weather the storm and hang onto equal top spot while three of their best young players help Australia's push for qualification at this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

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The earliest Brisbane can expect to have Maclaren, Borrello and Donachie back, assuming the Olyroos make the final at the AFC U-23 Championship in Qatar, is their home clash on February 6 against the Central Coast Mariners.

But one look at their National Youth League team on Sunday, which featured an incredible seven players with A-League experience, shows why Aloisi isn't bothered.

"When we signed Jamie Maclaren and when I first arrived at the club, I knew that we would probably miss four players going into January," Aloisi said.

"It's something we have to deal with and we will deal with it. That's why I want a strong squad with a lot of depth.

"We've got players that want to play and are training really hard to make sure they get their opportunity. When they do they want to take it."

Henrique and Jean Carlos Solorzano came off the bench in Saturday's 2-1 win over Perth Glory to replace Maclaren and Borrello, and will likely start in their place when the Roar takes on Wellington Phoenix next weekend.

Asked if he felt Brisbane's attack can continue to fire without him and Borrello, who have scored 12 of the team's 22 goals this season, Maclaren said: "Without a doubt."

"The next four weeks will test about our depth but we've got quality depth."

Little will need to be changed at the other end of the field.

Donachie, a key player for the Roar last season, has played just 12 minutes this season, stuck behind first-choice stoppers Daniel Bowles and Jade North.

If Aloisi needs defensive back-up he can look to one-time Socceroo Luke DeVere, who played an hour for Brisbane's youth team on Sunday as he continues his comeback from a long-term quad injury, or German utility Jerome Polenz.

Then there's the injured Steven Lustica to come back, plus mercurial midfielder Devante Clut, another who has barely featured under Aloisi, and Spaniard Javi Hervas, who was a substitute against the Glory on Saturday but backed up with a full game for the youth team in their 1-0 loss to Perth.

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