City finding a way without Maclaren in AL

Melbourne City are perched at the top of the A-League table, with coach Erick Mombaerts delighted at how his side has found a way to win without Jamie Maclaren.

Newly appointed Melbourne City Head Coach ERICK MOMBAERTS speaks during a Melbourne City A-League media opportunity at CFA Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.
Newly appointed Melbourne City Head Coach ERICK MOMBAERTS speaks during a Melbourne City A-League media opportunity at CFA Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts has praised his side's ability to cope without injured Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren.

City sit top of the A-League ladder and are yet to taste defeat despite the absence of marquee signing Maclaren, who's been sidelined with a hamstring problem for their last two matches.

The former Brisbane Roar and Hibernian hitman, stared the season in red-hot form, scoring four goals in his first two matches, before being ruled out for up to a month.

Despite that setback, City have scored six goals in their last two games, seeing off Wellington 3-2 and Central Coast Mariners 3-1.

While Mombaerts was optimistic Maclaren would return soon - potentially as early as next Sunday's away trip to Brisbane - he was delighted with the manner in which his team have started the season.

"Now we know that we can score with Jamie but we can score maybe with (Adrian) Luna, we can score with (Connor) Metcalfe, we can score also with our defender, Scotty (Galloway)," said Mombaerts.

"It's also good for our confidence so we couldn't achieve a good result if we have only one striker."

Mombaerts said he was pleased with the defensive running of his front three - Luna, Lachlan Wales and Craig Noone - emphasising the need for his team to be strong going both ways.

"I am satisfied we scored three goals, also I am satisfied with the hard work they have done defensively because it's also another part of our style of play," he said.

"If we want to play at the top of this championship, yes we need to be strong, we need to be strong collectively offensively but also defensively."

Luna scored his first goal in City colours and was lively throughout in his most impressive A-League game so far.

"I'm very happy because his attitude is always good," Mombaerts said.

"Collective attitude is good so I hope scoring this goal will increase his confidence to do more."


AAP