Melbourne City head coach Erick Mombaerts will have to shift several magnets to facilitate not having two of his starting defenders this week.
Both Richard Windbichler (muscular injury) and Harrison Delbridge (suspension) will miss tomorrow’s match against the Brisbane Roar, while Lachlan Wales has been deemed fit to play, despite coming off with an ankle injury in last week’s win.
Mombaerts believes it will be important for his side to “have more possession” and to be prepared for a Roar outfit looking to play “direct.”
“The first option is to have more possession, if we have the ball maybe it’s better for us,” he said.
“If they play more direct we can organise something to not allow them and we could look to press higher.
“We have some problems with injuries and suspension but I’m sure we’ll be able to face this team, because we dominate the midfield and we are improving now and the high press works well, so it’s a good occasion to do more.”
Javier Cabrera will also miss the match, as he spends another week in rehab recovering from a hamstring injury.
The Uruguyan has been linked with a move to Athletic Union Santa Fe, with City rumoured to be one of the A-League clubs interested in New Zealand international Marco Rojas.
While Mombaerts was tight lipped about the Rojas link, he says replacing Cabrera with another international in the January window could be an option.
“I can’t answer too much about this, this kind of question you can ask to [CEO] Michael Petrillo, it is one option to substitute Javier because we want to find a similar player, but it is one option…we also have other options,” he said.
This will be the second time the side will travel to Brisbane, with their last encounter ending in a 4-3 win to the Roar after City led 3-1.
Despite conceding 14 second half goals this season (second most in the league) Mombaerts says the team showed positive signs in holding on against a fast finishing Western United last week.
“We spoke about all things with our players but sometimes it happens like we have made a mistake and maybe we lost our concentration and we made a second mistake in the same minute,” he said.
“It is very important that [in] the last 10 minutes we recover our good mentality to stay well organised in a 10 v 11 and we played very smart at the end as well. That’s why I’m very positive, because they have switched to a good mentality and good attitude, so I want to be positive on this.”
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