Stefan Mauk missed last weekend’s visit to Perth with a groin injury.
Stefan Mauk missed last weekend’s visit to Perth with a groin injury.

Roar pin hopes on quick Mauk return

BRISBANE Roar are sweating on the fitness of attacking midfielder Stefan Mauk in their search for an A-League win.

With just two points to show from their first three matches, the Roar travel to Mudgee to meet Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.

Mauk missed the Roar's 2-1 weekend loss to the Glory in Perth due to a groin injury.

His absence meant skipper Matt McKay started for the first time this season.

Without Mauk, the balance of Brisbane's midfield suffered, with Spaniard Alex Lopez pushed higher up the park, where he was less effective than in the previous two weeks.

Mauk, who didn't train on Tuesday, will be given every chance to prove his fitness this week, with McKay the likely casualty if the former Melbourne City man starts on Saturday.

Even if Mauk is ruled out for a second week, veteran McKay is at long odds to keep his starting spot, with Lopez certain to revert to the deeper midfield role he successfully occupied for the opening two weeks of the season.

Henrique (left) might be called upon to fill the hole. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Henrique (left) might be called upon to fill the hole. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) DAVE HUNT

Roar coach John Aloisi may elect to use livewire Henrique at the top of the midfield, while another option is Nick D'Agostino, who has been used off the bench for the past two weeks.

Unfortunately for the Roar, former Socceroos playmaker Brett Holman remains sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury.

Aloisi will demand a better start from the Roar this weekend against a Wanderers side coming off an impressive 3-0 away win over Wellington Phoenix.

In their three games this season, Brisbane started slowly, and have twice conceded early goals.

Matt McKay is likely to return to the bench this weekend.
Matt McKay is likely to return to the bench this weekend.

"We will learn our lesson and we'll be ready for the next game," he said.

Off-season recruit Adam Taggart - who has scored twice in three matches this season - expressed his disappointment at Brisbane's start to their 2018-19 campaign.

"It's not the standards that we want to set," the former Glory marksman said.

"It's just not good enough, to be honest. We're all disappointed.

"We're all working hard. It's not as if we're slackening off."