Melbourne City FC Head Coach Warren Joyce says his side will be prepared for a tough battle on Friday night as they take on Adelaide United.
Both sides come into the contest looking to shake three-game losing streaks with Round 19 being the last time City and Adelaide picked up three points in the A-League.
Despite their recent form, the combatants still sit in the top six and Head Coach Warren Joyce believes his side have used the break to settle the squad and prepare for an important run towards the Finals Series.
“The morale has been really good,” Joyce said.
“The long break has given us time to do work with the players and the spirit has been really good. The way they have trained this week, they are ready for the game and are really looking forward to it.
“I think our streaks of poor results [throughout the season] have been due to our own errors and the suspensions don't help either. We've had spells where things like that have affected us and the result.
“When we have been smooth and had a consistent side, we've had good results. If you reflect on the season so far, we have to eradicate sending off’s and silly mistakes. When we have everyone fighting for a place and at the top of our game, we can give anyone in the league a game. When we've not, we've come unstuck.”
The return of Bart Schenkeveld will add to that consistency for City and Joyce, with the Dutch enforcer serving his one match ban during the Melbourne Derby and the Head Coach confirmed that he would move back into the eleven.
With a clean sweep of the Reds up for grabs, Joyce is preparing his side for a battle as they look to consolidate their spot in the top three.
“I think they are a well organised team,” he said.
“They have had a settled team the vast majority of the season and they know their jobs, their roles and we know it’s going to be a tough game. We've had success against them this season but I think it’ll be a game with a [hostile] atmosphere and everyone is up for it.
“We were good value [our last match against Adelaide]. There was a spell just after half time that they could have been back in the match but we finished very strongly. They are always tough games against them and even though the last game was [5-0], it’ll be a close game.”
Melbourne City face Adelaide United on Friday night at Coopers Stadium, kick-off 7.50pm/ See the match on FOX Sports 501.