Roar cautious on McCloughan

Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina has vowed to continue his cautious approach to Josh McCloughan's return from injury, with the veteran defender set for only a cameo off the bench in Saturday night's Queensland Hyundai A-League derby.

Brisbane Roar coach Frank Farina has vowed to continue his cautious approach to Josh McCloughan's return from injury, with the veteran defender set for only a cameo off the bench in Saturday night's Queensland Hyundai A-League derby.

McCloughan has been nursing a recurring groin strain that has seen him out of action since Round 1.

The centre-back will travel to Townsville in an extended 16-man squad, but Farina believed he was simply too much of an important commodity to be brought into the starting side that will take on the Fury.

"I was not tempted (to start McCloughan) at all," Farina said.

"Josh is too important to us once the young players leave next week."

"To throw him in for 90 minutes straight-up, there would be a big risk of injury and long-term injury."

"We just can't afford that at this stage."

It may only be Round 5 of the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League season, but the Roar are already in the middle of an injury crisis, with regulars Massimo Murdocca (broken leg), Matt McKay (knee) and Andrew Packer (abductor) all sidelined.

Things are not going to get any easier next week when the Qantas Young Socceroos depart for a pre-tournament training camp ahead of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt.

Roar youngsters Luke Brattan, Isaka Cernak, Luke DeVere, Mitch Nichols and Tommy Oar were all named in the preliminary national squad for the competition.

Farina said he would be keen to give McCloughan time on the park against the Fury ahead of DeVere's extended leave from Australia.

"We need these players to be getting some game time," he said.

"The focus is not going up there to give them game time, if we decide that we need subs to come on for whatever reason - they'll get some time."

David Dodd, who entered the fray earlier than expected against Central Coast last weekend when McKay was forced from the ground in the 25th minute, will come into the starting lineup in McKay's place.

Farina was impressed with Dodd's performance against the Mariners and expected something similar at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

"David did exceptionally well when he came on last week."

"I thought he was one of the best on the park - and to come on at a time like that is always difficult, but I thought he got straight into the game."

Dodd was content being able to find a spot in the Roar's lineup.

"I'm just looking forward to playing again," he said.

"It's just a matter of getting games under my belt, the more games I play the better I'll get."

"But I feel confident enough that I can go out there and do a good job, which I'm sure all the boys will do this week."

Oar will travel as a part of the extended Roar bench, but Farina said careworn winger Michael Zullo was still at least a week away.

"He's still struggling a little bit with the abductor and the ankle is still a little bit sore."

"We'll leave him for another week and give him some rest because we will need him in weeks to come."