Melbourne City boss Warren Joyce has made it clear that this week’s Christmas Derby is unlike any other game on the fixture as he prepares his side for an epic contest.
Joyce has been in Australia for almost six months now and the gravity of the Derby has rubbed off on him, saying he knows how much this match means to the City.
“If you are a player or a coach, you want to be involved in big games and there's no bigger game then a Derby at Christmas,” Joyce said.
“Everybody knows what a Derby is like and they are desperate to do well. We have to start in that way and Derbies are the same all over the world. I've seen some strange things in different countries but we have to be at our best to win on the night.
“We want the fans to play their part as well and be the extra man for us. Everybody is looking forward to it and hopefully the game starts at a good tempo and it's a good night for us.”
City looked to have lost Ross McCormack to a knee injury last week with the forward coming off during his side’s 3-1 loss to Sydney but scans have cleared him of serious damage, potentially playing a role on Saturday.
“With Ross, we thought it was going to be a long term injury and he'd be out the rest of the season but that's a massive plus the fact that he is back. It's great for him and the football club but we'll just have to reassess it and look at it tomorrow.”
“I think form doesn't really come into. The really is it's all about passion, it's all about who's up for it the most on the night and I really do believe that. We want to put a good show for our fans and we want the atmosphere to be great so I can't wait.”
City face Victory in the Christmas Derby on Saturday night at AAMI Park, kick-off 7.50pm.