A-L fixture changes unsettling: Maclaren

Anna Harrington
·2-min read

Melbourne City striker Jamie Maclaren says it's been difficult for A-League players to adjust to a constantly changing fixture list early in the season.

Border closures and restrictions amid coronavirus outbreaks have forced A-League bosses to reschedule fixtures to ensure games go ahead.

City will play Western United on Saturday - a full 13 days after their most recent game - but Maclaren admits even he doesn't necessarily know what's coming after that.

"We're dealing with things daily - we're finding out schedules by the minute so it's not ideal," the Socceroo told reporters on Thursday.

"Players and coaches - and I'm speaking on behalf of Melbourne City and other teams would (also) want rhythm. It's important.

"We played Brisbane Roar, we got a fantastic win over there and the defeat to Adelaide wasn't great for us but we came back to Melbourne and we've been stewing on that for two-and-a-half weeks.

"So it's not easy - you kind of want the season to still carry on and keep the flow of it.

"We play Western United (on) Saturday, we've been working towards that, but post-Western United we don't know what our fixtures look like.

"So it's not easy as a player - it's definitely something that we're just rolling with but we're not taking for granted the fact that we can still get out there and play football so there's no excuses from our end."

Maclaren sympathised with the league's competition team dealing with the "carnage" of having to change plans on the fly.

City will play their first home game in front of fans in Melbourne in more than 300 days when they take on Western United and Maclaren said it would give them a massive lift.

Last season's golden boot winner is still stinging from August's grand-final loss and while backing himself to again score plenty of goals, has adjusted his focus to become more selfless and a leader.

"This year it's more team-focused for me - I'm going to start, not being less selfish but (more team oriented) in the sense that I was hurt, I'm still hurt from losing the grand final," Maclaren said.

"When you win a golden boot, the next morning you kind of forget about the feeling.

"It's great but it's not as good as probably (what) the guys were feeling that win the championship."