Brisbane’s McCloughan for Nth Qld Fury

Fit, firing and ready to fight, Josh McCloughan is determined to work his way back into the Brisbane Roar squad after putting his hand up for selection for Saturday’s trip to North Queensland Fury.

Fit, firing and ready to fight, Josh McCloughan is determined to work his way back into the Brisbane Roar squad after putting his hand up for selection for Saturday’s trip to North Queensland Fury.

The mainstay defender is confident he has put to bed a recurring groin injury from the end of last season which flared up two weeks ago and is looking to make his first appearance since the Round 1 clash with neighbours Gold Coast United.

A determined competitor, McCloughan said he had been holding himself back from an earlier return and was now relieved to once again be available for selection.

“I’ve worked a bit harder in the gym and have been doing better rehab now so it’s probably stronger than it’s ever been,” the centre back said.

“I think if anything, we’ve been overcautious coming back. I really believe that I could’ve been involved in the Wellington game and then obviously I feel like I could’ve been involved last weekend.

“(Director of Athletic Performance) Tony (Ganter) decided to give it a few extra weeks to make it ok and it’s come back all right.

“So in the end, as much as I’ve hated missing these few games, I think it’s probably going to work out better for the business end of the season and that’s the important thing.”

Despite declaring himself fit to last a full match, McCloughan is not expecting to walk back into a Brisbane defensive line that picked up its first clean sheet of the season last weekend against the Central Coast Mariners.

“As far as the 90 minutes are concerned I have no problem but whether the Gaffer puts me in or not, who knows,” he said.

“The boys have done well and that’s what you need. (Roar coach) Frank (Farina) has always said along the way if you don’t have depth you’re not going to do anything.

“These guys have come and done well so I just have to fight my way into the side and when I get there I want to stay there.”

McCloughan believes whoever does ultimately line up on Saturday will have their work cut out against a Fury outfit which is looking to gain some momentum.

“I think we’re going to meet them at the hardest time to play them,” he said. “They’ve been knocking on the door and I think you can see that.

“They were close against Adelaide, they were leading them, and in front of home fans they’ll be absolutely desperate to get something.

“We’ll have to be really on our game to take three points away from there.”

Brisbane Roar’s match against North Queensland Fury kicks off at 7pm Saturday at Dairy Farmers Stadium, Townsville and will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 3.

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