Fit-again defender Ivan Franjic says Melbourne City is ready to shed their inconsistent tag and show why he believes the club can win the Hyundai A-League title.
City has endured a frustrating start to the season, with injuries and some sloppy performances contributing to just two wins from the opening seven matches.
Franjic has had to watch most of those games from the side-lines, making his club debut off the bench in last Friday’s 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar.
It put an end to an injury-plagued 2015 for the Socceroos right-back, who has managed just a handful of competitive matches for club and country.
Now back and eager to make up for lost time, Franjic believes the unpredictable City could finally be ready to reach their potential, starting with a clash against Perth Glory on Friday night.
"Obviously we need to get some consistency behind our performances," he said on Tuesday.
"We have a lot of key players coming back [from injury] in the next few weeks. There will be competition for places and that's what brings out the best in every player.
“Injuries haven't helped at the start of this season just to get the consistency. In this competition you can’t afford to have an off day or you will get punished.
"I have come back to this club because I believe we can win a championship here,” the 28-year-old added.
“My focus now is playing for Melbourne City and getting a run of games, really getting my body back to where it was a couple of years ago.
"I am probably four to six good weeks away….once you start playing you get your sharpness and match awareness back."
Franjic has double motivation to perform for City, not just to help the club realise their potential.
He hasn’t played for the Socceroos since the opening qualifier against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek in June, watching the likes of Josh Risdon, Tarek Elrich and Ryan McGowan get opportunities.
With the national team not in action again until March, Franjic has set himself a goal of forcing his way back into Ange Postecoglou’s squad.
"I am confident I can get back into the national team, I just need to start performing week in and week out in the A-League,” he said.
“Then it's up to the boss, Ange if he thinks I am good enough to get back in there. If I work hard and do everything right and keep performing to the best of my ability hopefully it's good enough to get back in there.
"Ange wants to really establish depth in the line-up, so we don't just rely on 20 players, he wants to have 40 players, so he is giving everyone an opportunity."