Roar to challenge McDonald clause
ROAR coach Robbie Fowler has vowed to fight any attempts by Western United to stop Brisbane striker Scott McDonald playing against the Victorian club in the A-League finals.
It was revealed on Saturday the clause preventing McDonald from taking on United - his former club - on Sunday afternoon in Ballarat would also be enforced if the teams met again in this season's finals series.
"He can play against us next season but not this season because he was contracted to us until the end of this season, but he wanted to break the contract and left," United CEO Chris Pehlivanis said.
"We didn't get anything in return from him going so why should we let him play against us?"
Fowler, who previously described the Roar not selecting McDonald for Sunday's match as a one-off "goodwill gesture", said his club would push for the former Socceroos marksman to play if the teams met again in the playoffs.
"When we get to the finals, if we get to the finals, we'll address that," Fowler sad
"We want every single player available to help us get as far in this league as we can.
"Scott McDonald will be an important player, so of course we'll try our best to get him (to play in the finals against Western United).
"Let's get there and we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
Fowler challenged his players to lift on Sunday in the absence of McDonald, who was the Roar's best player in their 2-1 home win over Adelaide United last weekend.
"He's been fantastic since he's come here," the Roar coach said of the veteran attacker.
"(He's a) good player, he's lifted all the lads, he's lifted the players certainly around him, but there's a chance for other players to come in and do a job.
"He's set a little bit of a marker now for the lads. These are the standards you've got to adhere to, these are the standards that you've got to reach … it's up to the lads to go there and try to get us to be that team who doesn't miss players."
McDonald's unavailability could lead to a recall for Olyroos midfielder Aiden O'Neill, which would allow classy Irishman Jay O'Shea to push further up the park.
Another option to replace McDonald is young striker Mirza Muratovic, who scored his first A-League goal last Saturday.
"This is why we have the squad of players that we have. Players have done remarkably well in terms of not being involved and all of a sudden, when we've asked them to do a job, they've come in and done a job," Fowler said.
Fowler again played down his post-match spat with Western United coach Mark Rudan when the A-League newcomers beat the Roar's 2-0 at Suncorp Stadium.
"It was much ado about nothing … it doesn't bother me," the Liverpool legend said.