Melbourne City manager Warren Joyce was in a buoyant mood on Friday ahead of Saturday night's Melbourne Derby as the Englishman plots a second win over Victory this season.
With the festive spirit taking over City’s Bundoora HQ on Friday, the Englishman’s mood mirrored that of the club as he finalised preparations for the marquee event on Saturday night at AAMI Park.
And while he brushed off notions of a psychological edge over Victory after a 2-1 win in the season’s first derby, he feels his side is capable of backing up last week’s eye-catching display in their loss to reigning champions and A-League benchmark, Sydney FC.
“It does give you heart but you’re striving for consistency. You’ve got to do that against every team and dominate. That’s why Sydney has been successful,” Joyce told www.a-league.com.au
With the sides separated by six points, City in third on 19 points and Victory on 13 points in sixth, a win for either side will be crucial in cementing their spot in the six as the year draws to a close.
And it's likely to be the fine margins that decide the big game at AAMI.
“It might be decided on moments, lapses in concentration or ill-discipline, sometimes you see in big games like that,” he said.
“So we’re looking to be focussed and disciplined and not get fazed by anything and keep our concentration.”
And last time they faced Victory, the 52-year-old stressed he didn’t want his side to be “bullied” by Victory.
That's something he wants to see every week in the A-League, not just in big derbies when the tackles are flying in.
Joyce added last week’s performance against Sydney FC showed their potential as they look to “put a show on for their fans” in Saturday night’s Melbourne Derby.
“A lot of big name players will be on show with big reputations that have done things in football," he said.
“They’ve got good players over the pitch, so have we, so we want to put a show on for the fans.
“That’s important in derbies. You want the fans to be proud of the team they support."