AAP Soccer

Maclaren can play above A-League: City

By AAP Newswire

Jamie Maclaren's remarkable goalscoring run is proof he can play at a level higher than the A-League, according to coach Erick Mombaerts.

Maclaren continued his hot streak with a brace, including the injury-time game-winner, in Friday's 3-2 comeback win over Western Sydney.

The Socceroos star has now scored eight goals in four league games since returning to Australia following his 18-month stint in Germany and Scotland.

Mombaerts was reluctant to discuss Maclaren's prospects, but conceded the 26-year-old still has the ability to play overseas.

"He is at a very good level. I can't answer this question. He is also an international player," Mombaerts said.

"Maybe, yes, he can play in a level higher than A-League. Yes, I think so."

Mombaerts was quick to praise Maclaren's defensive contributions against the Wanderers, with their high-press system eventually paying off.

City scored three times in the final 30 minutes to steal all three points.

"He don't need to have too many chances to score," Mombaerts said of Maclaren.

"But also we have to see the fantastic work he has done in high press because in the first half, we press a lot and he did also a very good job defensively.

"That's why also we have change in the second half, to have more crosses. We need also in the future to cross more to help Macca to score more."

While the victory ensures City remain on top of the ladder, Mombaerts admitted being concerned about a defence that has conceded a league-high 11 goals.

"Yes, we have to score three every game. I'm sure if we are more accurate defensively, it will be easy for us," he said.

"We have focused a lot on our offensive style of play. Maybe it's easier for us to work more on defensive now.

"But our mentality is fantastic because we have conceded some goals but know also that we can score more. That is also good."