Embattled Western Sydney Wanderers boss Josep Gombau has found an ally in Melbourne City midfielder Osama Malik ahead of the clash between the two clubs on New Year’s Day.
Both City and Wanderers head into the clash at ANZ Stadium in patchy form and under pressure to start 2018 with a win.
City have slumped to back-to-back defeats against Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, while the Wanderers are coming off a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Newcastle Jets.
While City are still comfortably in the top six, pressure is mounting on Gombau with the Wanderers struggling to mount a finals charge.
“Sometimes it's difficult to play against teams that are a bit up and down because on the day they are very good side with very good players,” Malik said of the Wanderers.
“Gombau is one of the best coaches in the league so we have to be at our best to get a good result against them.
“To be honest we're focused on ourselves and what we can do.”
While City have failed to pick up a point in the last two weeks, Malik feels their performances have warranted more than they have got.
“It's probably disappointing that we dropped a few points that we probably shouldn't have,” the midfielder said.
“They were two good performances. I don't think Victory’s position on the table reflects how good they are going at the moment so the first half on the weekend wasn't great but the second half we played really well and it unfortunately it didn't go our way.
“You never want to concede goals early in a half or late in a half but to concede three goals in the last two games during those times of the game is disappointing and something that we have to work on.
“We're not even halfway through the season yet and we are in a decent position so now after the new year we need to get results and go and a bit of a run and we'll be in good shape.”
The clash at ANZ Stadium is part of a double-header with the Westfield W-League, also between the Wanderers and City.
The Westfield W-League clash kicks off at 5pm, with the Hyundai A-League match at 7.50pm.