Despite his group’s disappointing 3-0 loss to Sydney FC, Melbourne City Head Coach Warren Joyce is refusing to sound any alarm bells around his side just yet.
City turned in one of their worst performances in recent memory last Friday night; a brace from Adam Le Fondre and a strike from former City player Paolo Retre putting an uninspiring City outfit to the sword.
Speaking to the media at City’s Bundoora headquarters on Thursday afternoon, the City gaffer declared that while his side’s performance was poor, he didn’t believe they weren’t played off the park by their Harbourside rivals and that his group was, instead, let down by their execution in attack.
“It was a poor performance,” Joyce said.
“We don’t hide behind that.
“We had all of the ball, a lot of possession and couldn’t do enough with the ball to hurt them. We conceded poor goals and cheap goals
“When you have the performances like that; you can’t completely change all the things that the players have learnt when we’ve had ten games before that this season and lost one.
“We’ve not played well but Eugene hasn’t made a save in the game. They’ve had four shots on goal and scored three of them. He’s not caught any crosses or punched any balls away, it’s not like we were under immense pressure we couldn’t deal with.
“We had the ball all the time, we weren’t capable of breaking them down and creating enough chances to beat them.
“In tactical ways, we’ve got to be better on the ball, we’ve got to create chances against them, we’ve got to be more alert getting on the ball, we’ve got to be running in behind, we’ve got to give teams more problems than we did last week.
“You’ve got to create opportunities.
“I thought early in the game we created opportunities and didn’t make enough of the situations that arose.
“Certainly, after halftime, there’s another reasonable opportunity that could have changed the game.
“Goals change games. You’ve just got to go back and work harder, work harder to get on the ball, be more demanding and ask the opposition questions this week.”
City will be looking to bounce back from what was their first defeat of the season when Mark Rudan’s Wellington Phoenix visit AAMI Park this Friday night.
The Nix will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 3-0 defeat of their own as they make the trip across the Tasman, having suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Western Sydney Wanderers at Westpac Stadium last week.
Refusing to be drawn on his New Zealand based opponents, Joyce instead preferred to focus on his own group; explaining that there hadn’t been an effort to shake up training in response to last Friday’s performance and that, in its place, his side’s performance on the training track had been encouraging.
“There’s no conscious effort to make a more improved training this week,” Joyce explained.
“Training’s been very good, which frustrates me even more after the performance last week. At least there’s been a bounce back.
“The performance and the level of the training on Sunday morning was excellent and again, on Monday, so every player then is reacting the way you want them to react and putting their name forward to try and play this week.
“At least we’ve shown some pride in the training performances and it’s been a competitive week.”