Joyce: We’ll go into it with no fear

City Head Coach Warren Joyce says his side will be out on the front foot on Friday night as they prepare to take on reigning Champions Sydney FC.

Joyce spoke to media on Thursday ahead of the clash, saying his side is relishing the opportunity to test themselves once again against the best side in the league.

With gradual improvement against Sydney this year - from the poor FFA Cup loss to the tight Round 5 encounter at AAMI Park - Joyce believes his side have continued their improvement as a team.

“It's a massive task, a massive challenge but you have to relish that as a footballer and coach as well,” Joyce said.

“You want to play in the big games, you want to measure where you are as a team and individually so everyone is looking forward to the challenge.

“I think we have improved, now it’s just getting the consistency. We are striving to be better with the ball in getting more chances and scoring our opportunities. We've done that in some games but we still have to be organised and tight and have a method of stopping them.

“The last game was close and tight and a miss-hit shot got them the 1-0 win. It was close but we've got to build on that. We've got to go into the game with no fear and be on the front foot.”

Joyce is confident his side can produce the goods on Friday night but is wary of a dangerous Sydney side who flexed their muscle last week, putting Western Sydney to the sword in a 5-0 trouncing.

“They’re a good team, they’re well organised, they’ve got some good pros and they know their roles with and without the ball,” he said.

“They make good decision and have a good manger and that’s why they have been successful. There is a consistency about everything that they do. We've got to go up against that and have a right go at them.

“They are a good side, they know their job and roles but they’re the tests you want in football, you want to go against those sides and beat them.”

The headlines throughout the week surrounded the debut of academy product Nathaniel Atkinson and the boss was quick to reaffirm that the work has only just begun for the talented youngster.

“He's a level headed kid,” he said.

“We certainly won’t give him a chance to walk too tall because he's got to keep the things that he's done to impress to give himself a chance to get in the team.

“He's got to do that every day. It’s just one game and you don't want to be a one game wonder, you have to build on that.

Joyce and City take on Sydney FC on Friday night at Allianz Stadium, kick-off 7.50pm. See the match onf FOX Sports 501. Don’t miss the blockbuster Melbourne Derby next week at AAMI Park, kick-off 7.50pm.