Melbourne City boss Warren Joyce admitted he’s disappointed star striker Ross McCormack won’t be returning to Australia following a hugely successful loan spell from Aston Villa.
City confirmed on Friday that McCormack’s time with the club had come to an end after failing to negotiate an extension with his parent club in England.
McCormack joined the club as an injury replacement for Bruno Fornaroli and made an instant impact, netting an impressive 14 goals in 17 appearances for City.
Joyce said the club had hoped to keep McCormack until the end of the season but a deal couldn’t be reached with Villa.
“It's disappointing to lose Ross,” Joyce said.
“We weren't able to reach an agreement between the two clubs and that is football. We have to get on with it.
“The last two games he had an Achilles problem so we had to adjust. He came on late in both games and hadn't had a lot of training so we had to adjust before that, we've prepared without him in the last two games.
“We hope he looks back on his time in Melbourne and thoroughly enjoyed it. He was a hit with the fans and players so I think it worked for both parties. It’s just disappointing and frustrating we couldn’t come to an agreement and prolong it until the end of the season.”
With marquee striker Bruno Fornaroli still a few weeks away from a return, City will go into Sunday’s clash with Roar without an out-and-out striker.
Impressive new signing Dario Vidosic is likely to play furthest forward for City, though Marcin Budzinski is another option up top.
City will be boosted by the return of central defender Bart Schenkeveld following suspension.