Surprise reason behind Nabbout on the bench

-

Melbourne City caretaker coach Desmond Buckingham says it was not an injury concern that led to star striker Andrew Nabbout starting on the bench against Brisbane Roar, but rather another player deserved the position more.

Nabbout missed City’s previous match – a 3-1 win in Perth – with a groin injury, and his starting position on Sunday appeared to most to be a precaution to ease him back into the fold.

Embed from Getty Images

Alas it was actually young forward Marco Tilio keeping the renowned superstar from playing the 90 minutes, a tick to the potential City see in Tilio.

“It wasn’t so much about easing Andy back in, it was more about rewarding young Marco Tilio,” Buckingham said.

“Marcos been very patient and worked extremely hard on the training field on his game and he’s built his game time up with five minutes, ten minutes, 15 minutes.”

Tilio has often appeared as a substitute for City this year, impressing with his impact off the bench late in games.

Embed from Getty Images

He has played 13 games, yet only started in three. However, he has found consistency in recent weeks, playing minutes off the bench in the last five of City’s match before starting against Perth in replacement of Nabbout.

“When he go his opportunity to start at Perth he performed very well, so he deserved to keep his place,” Buckingham said.

Tilio played 87 minutes of the Perth match, but his fitness levels and the presence of the Socceroos player on the bench forced Buckingham’s hand at half time against the Roar.

Embed from Getty Images

Tilio was substituted off at the 46 minute mark, reaching a passing efficiency of 91 per cent before his departure.

“As we know he’s not played much football, so at 45 mins it made sense with Andy being fresh just to give us something else down that right hand side and try and inject something different,” Buckingham said.

Nabbout lacked his trademark dash in the second half and perhaps needed the run to get himself going again.

City won the game 3-2, after a 78th minute banger to Scott Galloway sealed the win.

Feature image credit: Melbourne City

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Seb Mottram
Sports nut studying Media comms and Marketing at Monash.

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required