Roar forced to search for Holman cover
BRISBANE Roar is set to delve into the transfer market next month if former Socceroos star Brett Holman is still sidelined with a knee injury.
Holman, who turns 35 in January, is yet to kick a ball in anger this season after complications from knee surgery at the end of the Roar's 2017-18 campaign.
Brisbane coach John Aloisi had expected the former Aston Villa midfielder to be available for the final few weeks of the Roar's pre-season.
However, heading into to the seventh round of the A-League season, Aloisi still isn't sure when Holman will be fit to play.
It has led to fears that Holman's stellar career could be on the verge of completion.
Aloisi isn't ready to give up on the playmaker, but admits he will seek cover in next month's transfer window if Holman is still sidelined.
"If Brett's still out we'll look to bring in an injury replacement player," Aloisi said.
"We were hoping he would have been back by now but it hasn't worked out that way."
Holman considered retirement last season due to ongoing calf issues, but signed a new one-year deal, convinced he could play a significant role this season rather than just be a squad player.
"I want to be there to contribute and be one of the outstanding ones," he said in March.
Aloisi said Holman was understandably frustrated with his current predicament.
"He wanted to have an impact this season and we believed he could, and still can if he can overcome this injury," the Roar mentor said.
Holman's presence would have been more than handy, with the Roar to again be without attacking midfielder Stefan Mauk for Sunday's clash against Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Mauk, who only returned last Friday night against Adelaide United after missing three games with a groin injury, is suspended this weekend after being sent off in the Roar's 2-1 loss to the Reds.
Even if he had not been red-carded, Mauk would have been unlikely to play after being knocked unconscious in the incident that led to his dismissal.
As expected, key striker Adam Taggart, who has a minor groin injury, has been named in an extended Roar squad, with a decision on his availability expected on Friday.
The Jets' hopes have suffered a blow, with star playmaker Ronald Vargas ruled out with his own groin problem.
Former Roar defender Lachlan Jackson (nose) is another Newcastle casualty.
Meanwhile, Queensland referees Chris Beath and Peter Green will officiate at next month's Asian Cup.