All three Melbourne Derbies in 2016/17 have been touted as the biggest of the season but if City’s aspirations for a top two spot are riding on anything, it would be Saturday night’s result against Victory at Etihad Stadium.
If Ivan Franjic’s confidence is anything to go by, expect a spirited performance from City in the Derby as it looks to dismantle a stalling Victory side who have been defeated three times in the past week.
Despite Victory’s form, Franjic’s focus is on his side who have shown positive signs but have been punished for not converting chances and the defender feels this weekend could be the start of City putting sides to the sword, much like their Round 2 encounter against this weekend’s opponents.
“For us, we obviously want to finish top two and Victory stand in our way at the moment. We haven’t been on the greatest run in the last couple of weeks but no better way to get back into it than in the Derby this week,” Franjic said.
“The confidence is always there, you look around the change room every day and there are a lot of quality players, especially up front, that can hurt teams.
“At the moment, we are getting a lot of penalty entries and a lot of shots at goal but some of this hasn’t been clicking in the last few weeks where the ball hasn’t been finishing up in the net.
“We’re confident in ourselves that in the next few weeks it’s going to turn and we’ll be giving a few teams a hammering and what better way than this week against Victory.
His own team’s run of form has lacked the lustre from that of the opening rounds of the season, struggling to kick-start their A-League campaign after the Westfield FFA Cup triumph.
Franjic is confident that with plenty of points up for grabs, his side have the makings of an important run of momentum towards the Finals Series.
“The belief is still there,” he said.
“There is ten games to go and that’s 30 point up for grabs so there is a long way left in the season and we believe it ourselves. Six teams make the finals in Australia so anything can happen.
“When it’s still possible, we are still going to go for top spot until it’s over. The most important thing is we go game by game. You can’t look at it as nine games ahead so you have to look at each weekend and this weekend is Victory and that our focus.”
Franjic and City take on Victory in the Melbourne Derby on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, kick-off 7.50pm. See three of our last four home matches of the season with our Three Match Membership! Hit the banner below to sign up today!