BRISBANE coach John Aloisi has praised Jamie Maclaren's attitude and professionalism after the Socceroos striker responded to being left out of the starting team by securing the Roar their first win in five matches.
Named among the substitutes for the second week in succession, Maclaren scored the game's only goal in the 87th minute as the Roar beat Wellington Phoenix 1-0 at Westpac Stadium.
Set up by Brandon Borrello, who took advantage of a defensive error from Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante, Maclaren netted his eighth goal of the season to give fourth-placed Brisbane its first victory since a 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners in Gosford on December 18.
Maclaren's future has been the subject of much debate, and it seems there's little chance of him remaining with the Roar beyond this season after rejecting Brisbane's offer to re-sign him.
"There's been a lot of people saying 'Macca doesn't want to be here, Macca's not the same player', but the last two games he hasn't started and he hasn't put his head down," Aloisi said.
"It's good that Macca's showed that spirit. He's worked hard in training. He actually looked really sharp this week.
"I had that feeling that he would come on and do something - it was good to see him score.
"I just felt his impact was going to be huge when he came on and it was, and that will give him confidence in the busy period we've got coming up."
"As a coach you need to protect players and need to do what's best for the team."
That included Aloisi's decision not to take marquee man Thomas Broich to Wellington to freshen him up for a hectic upcoming period that includes A-League and AFC Champions League commitments.
Apart from Broich, Brett Holman could also be available for the Roar's clash against Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium next Saturday night.
Fullback Corey Brown will miss the Wanderers' visit through suspension after being booked for the fifth time this season.
But there are fears he could be out for longer after being on the receiving end of an ugly challenge from Phoenix defender Jacob Tratt, who received a yellow card for the foul, which forced Brown off the field.
"It doesn't look good but hopefully it's okay," said Aloisi, who added that Brown "couldn't walk" after the match.
"It was a bad tackle. You don't want players to get injured and to have your studs up like that sliding in from a distance is dangerous play.
"We'll know a bit more when we get back to Brisbane."