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Maclaren to lead by example

Reigning A-League Golden Boot Jamie Maclaren isn’t concerned that he’s yet to open his A-League account this season as he focuses on team glory with Melbourne City rather than individual honours.Socceroos striker Maclaren, who hasn’t scored in City’s opening two matches of the new campaign, gets another chance to find the back of the net…

Reigning A-League Golden Boot Jamie Maclaren isn’t concerned that he’s yet to open his A-League account this season as he focuses on team glory with Melbourne City rather than individual honours.

Socceroos striker Maclaren, who hasn’t scored in City’s opening two matches of the new campaign, gets another chance to find the back of the net for the first time this season when his side hosts Western United in Saturday night’s derby at AAMI Park.

“I know I’ll score goals,” said Maclaren, who netted 23 goals last season.

“I’m not stressed about that. I’m not worried.

“This year it’s more team focused for me.”

Maclaren is desperate for championship success with City after the agony of losing last season’s grand final to Sydney FC.

“I’m still hurt from losing a grand final,” he said in recalling the 1-0 defeat.

“If you want to win a championship you need all your squad, not just 11 players. We’ve got a fantastic squad.”

Maclaren is a leading candidate to captain City on Saturday night in the absence of suspended club skipper Scott Jamieson, who was sent off in his team’s last-start 2-0 loss to Adelaide United.

“As I get older I start to become more of a leader in the squad,” said 27-year-old Maclaren, who was given the captain’s armband after Jamieson’s second-half dismissal in Adelaide.

“I tend to lead more in actions rather than words.

“We’ve got a lot of leaders in this group. Now when we’ve had suspensions and injuries, it’s time for those boys to step up and not focus on just ‘Jamo’ leading the squad.

“We all need to pick up.”

Maclaren has called on City fans to turn out in numbers on Saturday night, saying that Adelaide’s supporters lifted the Reds in their win over City at Coopers Stadium on January 3.

“They’re fans definitely helped them. Now it’s our turn to have our great fans behind us and singing for us and really supporting us,” he said.

Playing anywhere currently is a bonus such is the ongoing battle with fixture scheduling and postponements due to COVID-19 enforced travel restrictions and border closures.

“We’re dealing with things daily. We’re finding out schedules by the minute, so it’s not ideal,” Maclaren said.

“It’s not easy. You want the season to carry on and keep the flow of it.

“Post Western United we don’t know what our fixtures look like … it’s definitely something that we’re just rolling with.

“There are no excuses from our end.”

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