City coach explains why rising star Arzani was subbed off

Melbourne City FC coach Warren Joyce said his substitution of winger Daniel Arzani was for a combination of reasons. 

READ THE MATCH REPORT HERE

SEE THE GOALS AND RELIVE THE GAME HERE

Arzani was withdrawn on 55 minutes with no apparent injury. 

The substitution occurred six minutes after City had taken the lead in a tight encounter against a defensively solid Mariners. 

"I didn't think he looked as sharp as he's looked in recent weeks," Joyce told Fox Sports. 

"If you're bringing a lad into the side, and coming from the poor base fitness that he had, he's done tremendously well. 

"You don't want him to break, you want him to keep going. And he wasn't at his sharpest tonight against good experienced players. 

"They got the better of him and he [Arzani] got booked. And we've got other players in the squad. 

"And tonight looked like one of those nights when you have to make sure you grind it through and get the three points. 

"And I thought 'Fitzy' [substitutute Nick Fitzgerald] did a good job for the team." 

Joyce added that at the business end of the season, three points are vital. 

City are now well placed to finish third with Victory (fourth) five points behind before Sunday's clash with Phoenix.