Maclaren spurs City onward after Fornaroli changing of the guard
As the curtains descend on Bruno Fornaroli’s Melbourne City career, the stage is set for Jamie Maclaren to fill the Uruguayan's boots.
Fornaroli ended months of speculation over his future on Tuesday after agreeing terms with City to cancel his contract.
It leaves Maclaren, who signed for Warren Joyce’s side on January 31, poised to take up Fornaroli’s mantle as City’s goal-scoring talisman.
So far, it is a responsibility the Caltex Socceroo has relished. Maclaren has scored in each of his three City appearances, and believes it is time the club rallies ahead of the run home.
“I wish Bruno all the best, but it’s time for our club to move forward,” Maclaren told reporters on Wednesday.
“There’s a little rivalry in terms of a couple of years ago, me and Bruno were scoring 20-plus goals a season.
“He’s a fantastic footballer, I came into the club when the situation had already panned out.
“I was brought in to score goals for this club and that’s what I’ve been doing.
“The boys have really carried themselves well, and to his credit, Bruno has too.”
Maclaren has been a silver lining in a testing period for City following his signature on deadline day.
They have secured just one win from their last eight matches, a streak which has aroused speculation regarding coach Joyce’s future at the club.
But the 25-year-old denied City were feeling the pressure and believes the AAMI Park outfit will soon turn a corner under the former Wigan and Manchester United taskmaster’s steady guidance.
“Warren knows what it takes to get to the top,” Maclaren said.
“He’s worked at the best club in the world, Manchester United. He’s seen the best players day in and day out, like [Cristiano] Ronaldo and guys like that.
“He comes in with a smile every day and he's just carrying on with his job.
“And when your manager is under a bit less pressure and at ease, it makes us feel a bit, you know, ‘OK, everything’s good’.
“We just need to focus on our performances, take our chances and be sure at the back.
“I know as much as Warren knows that one win will change everything.”