Melbourne City appears ready to demonstrate their new, one-two attacking punch to the A-League; with both Jamie Maclaren and Shayon Harrison set to feature heavily against Adelaide United on Saturday night.
Joyce confirmed on Friday afternoon that Socceroo Maclaren would start in his first A-League fixture since he was knocked out the 2016/17 A-League finals when still a member of Brisbane Roar and it’s believed that Harrison looms as his likely starting partner on the left-hand side of the attack.
The arrival of Maclaren and Harrison comes not a moment too soon for Joyce, his side having slipped to fifth – behind their Saturday night opponents – after failing to find the back of the net in back-to-back defeats at the hands of Wellington and Sydney FC.
That miserly run of goalscoring run means that City has failed to score in three of their past five games; only a 4-3 win over hapless Western Sydney Wanderers keeping their goal-to-game ratio above one.
25-year-old Maclaren, who signed from German side SV Darmstadt 98 after cancelling a prior loan agreement with Scottish side Hibernian, and Harrison, who signed on loan from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, have been in Australia since last weekend and have trained fully.
In other selection news, City will be without Kearyn Baccus for the meeting with the Reds after the midfielder picked up a suspension for yellow card accumulation, whilst The Age is reporting that his fellow midfielders Rostyn Griffiths and Riley McGree are under an injury cloud.
“Disappointing… frustrating,” Joyce said of his team’s run of results.
“It’s good build-up play, good movement, it’s people doing their job to get into good areas but it’s just not having that nose for goal.”
“But there’s still plenty of time this season, and the two new players will add to the overall strength of the group.
“They have to get used to the climate… the travel. Even though Jamie’s a Melbourne lad it’s different coming back to 30 degrees rather than two degrees in Scotland.”
Joyce then went on to add praise for the way his new additions had handled themselves since they arrived in Bundoora.
“I think it’s refreshing that someone (Harrison) from that level wants to come here and test himself out to get his career going.
“You can see the education he has had, the way he conducts himself around the club as a man. He is showing them standards and we are showing him standards and he’s desperate to give a good account of himself.
“You can see he has got quality around his feet. He’s intelligent, he has good touch and the arrogance of timing with his passing.
“Maclaren is desperate to do well and really help the club and for the fans. He’s a Melbourne boy and Australian international, he really wants to help us in a push to the end of the season.
“Shay wants to integrate with the players and do it for the fans, but Jamie has that passion because he knows what this club is about, he knows what living in Melbourne is all about.”