• Brisbane Roar midfielder Joe Caletti (AAP)
Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi says he's been blown away by Joe Caletti's unflappable attitude as the teenage midfielder prepares for his first taste of A-League finals action.
Source:
AAP
21 Apr 2017 - 10:24 AM  UPDATED 21 Apr 2017 - 10:24 AM

Skipper Matt McKay has been sidelined for the last month with a knee injury and is no guarantee to return before the season is out.

But Roar haven't missed a beat in midfield thanks to the rise of 18-year-old Caletti, who has emerged as one of the competition's most promising players since his mid-season debut.

A diminutive figure much like McKay, the former Joeys captain has been an assured presence in Brisbane's engine room and Aloisi reckons he'll have no trouble dealing with the added pressure of Friday's elimination final against Western Sydney Wanderers.

"He's amazing me every day, how much he keeps on improving and how he's dealing with the whole situation," Aloisi said.

"It doesn't happen overnight - he's been with us for a year and he understands exactly what we're trying to do with and without the ball.

"Plus he's a brave boy, he's never shying away, even when he's not having the best of games.

"That's what you want from a midfielder in his position because we play through them a lot."

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Midfield partner Thomas Kristensen said Caletti has made it easy for the team to deal with the absence of McKay.

"Normally I would be helping young players a lot but after a couple of games I almost don't need to help him anymore," the Denmark international said.

"He's playing with a big maturity to his game for a player that's so young and I think he's done outstanding.

"He's carrying himself very, very well.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on him - he just needs to keep his head down and work hard and improve on his game because he can go a long way."