‘It wasn’t about being pretty’ – Jamieson prizes Derby points over style
Melbourne City captain Scott Jamieson says his side are determined to prove they have the mettle to win the big games after their Melbourne Derby triumph.
City prevailed at AAMI Park on Friday night 2-1 against local rivals Melbourne Victory in a see-sawing contest on the back of goals from Florin Berenguer and Jamie Maclaren to shore up second place on the Hyundai A-League table.
Conceding a late Ola Toivonen goal resulted in a tense conclusion to the match, however, City held on to win their first Melbourne Derby since 2018 and end a two-match winless run.
Speaking post-match to Fox Sports, Jamieson said his side were aware of doubts about their big-match mentality following their poor run in recent Derbies and failing to flatter in clashes against fellow high-flyers Sydney FC and Perth Glory so far this season.
“There were a lot of questions asked of our football team by a lot of experts. We’ve been a team that’s in good form, playing well, so for us it is a great win,” Jamieson said.
“It wasn’t our prettiest but that was what we talked about – it wasn’t about being pretty, it was about winning for the fans and winning for ourselves.
He added: “A lot of questions have been asked of us, so it’s about us stepping up and we have done that tonight."
With City boss Erick Mombaerts making five changes to this starting line-up for the clash – in part due to the forced absences of defensive duo Harrison Delbridge (suspension) and Jack Hendry (injury) – Jamieson said his side’s defensive effort deserved to be lauded.
“We’ve been working hard in the last six or so weeks on our defensive structure. We conceded a cheap one but, saying that, we defended well tonight and we got the three points.”
For the Victory, the result furthers a frustrating campaign of false starts. They remain outside the top six and without a win in the Hyundai A-League in four games under the charge of Carlos Salvachua.
Victory captain Ola Toivonen said conceding the early goal had ultimately made things difficult for his side, despite a number of chances to take more from the match.
“It’s a painful one. Conceding a goal after ten minutes – in these kind of games it is the mistakes that are going to cost you the game and I think it was a perfect example of that in the first half,” Toivonen explained.
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However, he strongly dismissed the opportunity to blame the team’s recent travel schedule – including a trip to Japan in the AFC Champions League – as an excuse for the unwanted Derby result.
“It was just a lack of concentration and a matter of details,” he said of the reasons for the defeat.
He added: “It’s a thousand reasons why we are where we are right now and I can’t tell them here right now. But it is a difficult time and just have to work harder.”
Victory now turn their attention to a home tie in the AFC Champions League against Thai club Chiangrai United on Tuesday, 11 February before a break from league duties.
Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne City
Saturday, 15 February
Kick off: 7pm local, 5pm AEDT
- Melbourne Victory have a bye