Brisbane Roar coach Warren Moon has defended keeping Japanese forward Masato Kudo on the bench despite his team striking another blank in the A-League clash with Newcastle.
Kudo, a former Japanese international with bags of experience across the globe, didn't feature as Moon's team tried to break the deadlock against a resolute Jets at a windy Dolphin Stadium on Sunday.
For the second game in a row, the Roar failed to fire as the teams settled for a 0-0 draw.
Moon said Kudo, who has featured for a total of just 25 minutes across three substitute appearances during his time at the Roar, is still developing his fitness following the completion of his hotel quarantine at the end of December.
"Difficult one with Masato. We desperately want to get him involved. He's not quite ready," Moon said.
"We still have him on the bench and we used him in the week in terms of how we try to condition him.
"Do we or don't we (play him)? It's a question that I have to answer.
"Probably again I look at the way the game was going and it's a difficult one to throw him out there.
"We're very careful with him right now and we've got to find the right time to use him and get him involved."
Kudo's Japanese compatriot Riku Danzaki had two goals ruled out against the Jets with the draw leaving the Roar third on the ladder after seven games.
The Roar's next match is against Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday and Moon is hopeful the challenge of facing the reigning premiers will be one his team rises to.
"Can't wait to get down there ... have a look at them and have a go," Moon said.
"We'll enjoy the challenge of playing the champions."