Melbourne City boss Warren Joyce sang the praises of Jamie Maclaren and Shayon Harrison after both transfer window arrivals impressed in a 1-1 Hyundai A-League draw with Adelaide United on Saturday evening.
Australia striker Maclaren and Harrison, on loan from Tottenham, combined with exciting youngster Lachlan Wales in a new-look three-pronged frontline for City.
Joyce expects both of his new boys to only improve and was happy after Maclaren’s close-range effort cancelled out Craig Goodwin’s opener at AAMI Park.
“The two of them have come in and settled with the group quickly,” he said.
“You’ve got an Australia international and a kid from the Premier League - they want to work, they’re just humble.
“They want to work, they want to help the group. They give the players a lift - two more players who want to do that.
“They’ve done really well.”
Goodwin’s 43rd-minute header - his ninth Hyundai A-League goal of the season - briefly extended United’s lead over City to four points in the battle of fourth against fifth before Maclaren's intervention.
“A sucker punch just before half time - it [was a] test [for] the lads’ character, again, test their confidence, really, going in 1-0 [down] at home in a big game for us,” Joyce added.
“Second half, thought we showed a lot of spirit again, created opportunities.
“I think we were worth getting back in the game and drove the game towards the end.”
United boss Marco Kurz felt his side were overrun by City in stages and said he was pleased to take a point from the encounter.
“If you concede a goal in this way [in the second half], you’re a little bit disappointed,” he said.
“But at the end I think in the second half, we played not so good.
“I think we started well. We played a good 30 minutes.
“Then we lost a little bit, the control of the game, but we scored the goal.
“At the end, the draw for us is a good result.”
United attacker Nikola Mileusnic faces a nervous wait after he was taken off on a stretcher with an ankle injury.
“It looks not good,” Kurz acknowledged afterwards.