Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi has lauded returning skipper Matt McKay as the best professional he’s worked with ahead of Sunday’s A-League clash against Central Coast Mariners.
McKay is a confirmed starter for the Roar, having missed last week’s 3-1 win over Western Sydney while away on Socceroos duty, and will replace either Dimitri Petratos or Steven Lustica in midfield.
“Matty’s a great leader, someone who has led this club for a lot of years,” Aloisi said.
“He’s the best professional I’ve worked with.
“It’s exciting to have Matty back in because the players do look up to him and he does lead on the pitch as well.”
It’s high praise for the 57-cap Socceroo – and it comes in stark contrast to Mariners boss Tony Walmsley’s assessment of McKay.
Lighting the fuse for a potentially firey clash at Suncorp Stadium, Walmsley said on Thursday that Brisbane won’t “gain a great deal” with the return of the tireless 32-year-old and claimed he wouldn’t swap his unheralded midfield for the Roar’s if given the chance.
McKay, meanwhile, is keen on linking with new Spanish signing Corona for the first time, having missed the chance to do so last week.
The former La Liga veteran was hugely influential, laying on two assists on his A-League debut in a quality performance that suggests he will be a key man for Brisbane this season.
“I had a week with him before I went on Socceroos duty and he’s a class act,” McKay said.
“He’s very calm on the ball, it feels like he has an eternity to make his decision and he generally picks the right one.
“It’ll take a while to gel but I’m very glad he’s here and looking forward to playing with him on the weekend.”
Aloisi said: “Before (McKay) left I wished him all the best with the national team.”
“He said ‘I can’t wait to get back to play with Corona’.
“That just goes to show he’s looking forward to it and so are we all.”