The Bruno Fornaroli shadow which lingers over Melbourne City is set to remain a main talking point as the club refuses to give any update as to their plans for the former club captain.

After the Melbourne City’s 2-0 victory over Adelaide United, Joyce was unequivocal on where he thought the media’s attention should be.

“I am not taking any questions about Bruno tonight, I am here to talk about the game,” Joyce said.

Despite not directly taking questions on Fornaroli, Joyce’s final comments on a question about being pleased with the result took an interesting twist as he mentioned the team’s younger players.

“We’ve got three kids out there tonight who are probably on minimum wage but they are desperate to play for the football club and desperate to be professional and desperate to have successful careers and they come and do extra around the building because they are they desperate,” he said.

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When pushed on the identity of the three players, Joyce confirmed Lachlan Wales, who has  replaced Fornaroli in the side as the lone striker, was one of those three.

Later on, when asked about the performance of star goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic, Joyce was effusive in his praise, choosing to focus on Galekovic’s professionalism and work ethic.

“If you’re consistent with your approach and treat everybody the same it’s the ones who get a chance, the way they train everyday, the way they conduct themselves, the way they prepare,” he said.

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“If you look at Eugene from the start of the season, I think he’s lost six or seven kilos from his weight from last year. He’s an older player but he has taken on board the challenge to be the best he can possibly be and commit to the group.

“He’s desperate for the group to succeed and he’s desperate to play football and play for the football club, so he does everything he possibly can,” he said.

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Maybe it is a stretch but the intense concentration on professionalism and desperation throughout the press conference seemed quite poignant with a very clear inflection.

This is especially because recent reports allege the fallout between Joyce and Fornaroli centres almost entirely on professionalism and attitude.

It has been a remarkable fall from grace for Fornaroli, once the adored hero of the City faithful and regarded as one of the best strikers in the country.

The win against Adelaide means Melbourne have taken six points from their past three games, scoring five and conceding a solitary goal: positioning themselves nicely entering the new year.

If Melbourne City miss Fornaroli, they are doing an amazing job of showing they don’t need him especially when Wales has impressed as central striker after being shifted from the wing.

However, Melbourne City’s supporters have begun to voice their distaste at Fornaroli’s continued absence from the squad by planning protests and creating the hashtag #FORNAROLIIN.

Given the January transfer window is fast approaching, a resolution to the festering issue may not be too far away but it is set to remain a major topic for the foreseeable future.

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A student at University of South Australia who hopes his writing disguises his lack of sporting prowess and a fan who masquerades his choice in mediocre teams as being hipster