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Aloisi plays guessing games with keepers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/04/2017 Vince Rugari

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi has refused to discuss off-contract goalkeeper Michael Theo's future after handing his deputy Jamie Young a rare A-League opportunity.

Theo has been left out of the Roar's squad for Saturday's crucial away clash against Perth Glory, despite being available after serving a two-match ban for striking Adelaide United's Dylan McGowan.

That has cleared the way for Young, the only gloveman at the club contracted for next season, to make a third successive start.

Theo, 34, lingered after Thursday's training session to seek clarification from Aloisi, who explained that the five-time A-League championship-winner would be used instead for Wednesday's home ACL match against Kashima Antlers.

"I was speaking to him about a few things - not just about who's playing," Aloisi told reporters.

"It was mainly about training, a few tactical things.

"All the boys - they all want to play, and they feel they can play each week.

"I want hungry players, that's good competition for places.

"(But) I can't play every single player each game because they'd just be burnt out with the travel and amount of games.

"When we get into finals we need to make sure we're not on our last legs, just getting over the line.

"We need to be heading into that period in good form and the players feeling fresh and ready to go."

Thomas Broich, Avraam Papadopoulos and Thomas Kristensen won't travel to Perth as Aloisi rotates his squad.

Young, meanwhile, has barely put a foot wrong when called upon and is mounting a strong case to become Brisbane's No.1 next season.

In fact, five clean sheets in eight appearances across all competitions gives the 31-year-old a better overall record than Theo, who has kept just four in 22 matches.

"Youngy's done well, but so has Michael. I've got no issue with who I have to put in goals," Aloisi said.

"They've both got different positives to their game and they're both very good keepers."

Salary cap pressures would likely force Theo to take a sizeable pay cut to stay with the Roar next season.

But Aloisi said he would not discuss the contractual status of any player publicly for fear of them losing focus.

"They know if they play well, (contracts will) probably be there for them at the end of the season," he said.

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