Aloisi: Roar to scrap for FFA Cup glory


Brisbane boss John Aloisi has promised his Roar boys will be up for the battle against a “tough and physical” Perth Glory outfit when the two teams meet in the Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday night.

“Perth have a great squad. [Coach] Kenny Lowe does a great job recruiting and they are going to be tough. 

“They are a physical side, we know we’re going to be in for a scrap at times,” Aloisi said on Tuesday as he prepared his team for Wednesday night’s Round of 32 Westfield FFA Cup clash at Ballymore in Brisbane. 

PREVIEW: Brisbane Roar FC v Perth Glory

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“We take every game seriously. If you were at training this morning I made sure the training game was serious because you have to have that winning mentality.

“One thing I can guarantee is that the boys will leave everything on the pitch as they always do and play the style of football that everyone expects of them.”

However, the former Socceroo great says he will hold new recruit Thomas Kristensen back on Wednesday night.

The clash has come too soon for the Dane, with Aloisi opting not to risk the 33-year-old midfielder.

“Thomas won’t play. He only arrived a couple of weeks ago. He’s a bit off in terms of fitness,” Aloisi told reporters on Tuesday.

It means Kristensen is now likely to play his first match in Roar colours in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Sydney FC next week.

While Kristensen won’t feature against Glory, other new faces Jacob Pepper and Joey Katebian should be in Roar’s squad.

But it’s familiar faces like Matt McKay, Jade North and striker Jamie Maclaren that will be crucial for Roar against Kenny Lowe’s Cup specialists.

Most eyes will be on Maclaren and whether he will be able to replicate his incredible breakout season with the club in 2015/16.

The 23-year-old scored 20 goals from 25 appearances in the Hyundai A-League last term, earning himself a call-up to the Caltex Socceroos in the clash with England last May. 

While there’s sure to be added expectation on Maclaren’s shoulders, Aloisi expects his leading striker to handle it.

“He has to look to improve and I know he’s working hard on his game in training every day,” Aloisi said.

“No one expected, other than Jamie or myself, that he would score over 20 goals last year. 

“He doesn’t have to put the pressure on himself he just have to keeps on working hard and improving his game and the goals will come.

“Because Jamie’s a goal scorer, his runs are always dangerous and the style of football we play suits him. He’s going to get chances and he’s going to score goals.”

Jamie Maclaren

Maclaren’s goal-scoring exploits have attracted plenty of interest from overseas suitors but Aloisi believes the youngster should remain in the Hyundai A-League for at least another two seasons.

“I’ve said it to Jamie that he needs to stay in the A-League longer,” Aloisi said.

“Do I think he’ll go overseas one day, yes. Do I think he’ll be a regular Socceroo, yes. But at the moment Jamie needs to focus on playing well for the Roar.

“Hopefully he stays for another two years and goes to the World Cup having three good years under his belt.”