Scott Jamieson believes a week of self-reflection has set Melbourne City up for a fresh tilt at securing their first Hyundai A-League silverware.
City captain Jamieson admits he and his teammates were left to stew on a lacklustre 1-0 defeat to Wellington Phoenix as they headed into their bye week off the back of a stretch of relative free-fall.
The Bundoora club were five points off leaders Sydney FC after Round 10 but only two wins over their next nine matches saw them slip to third place, now 13 points behind the runaway Sky Blues.
Jamieson is set to accomplish a milestone as Erick Mombaerts’ side return to action on Sunday, running out in his 250th competition match, but the 31-year-old is more interested in helping his teammates make a statement against an in-form Brisbane Roar.
“We’ve had a bit of time to stew on that and reflect on that and look at the last period where we’ve lost games and tried to find a common denominator in those losses,” Jamieson said.
“Two wins in nine isn’t anything to be proud of. We’ve been really honest with that and cleared that out at the start of the week and just worked hard.
“[We] worked on trying to sort a game plan out for Brisbane Roar and it’s been enjoyable.”
Mombaerts’ clear-the-air session ensured that City quickly moved on from the any dark clouds which descended following the loss at Eden Park in Auckland.
The club has gone nine seasons without lifting a trophy in the Hyundai A-League, (including their run as Melbourne Heart) and has never finished in the top two in the ladder or reached a Grand Final – while Jamieson is yet to collect a winners medal in his storied 15-year career.
After mulling over their slide in 2019/20 and reassessing their goals for rest of the campaign, Jamieson believes the no-nonsense French tactician Mombaerts has re-righted the course.
“The reaction of all of the players has been fantastic and, if the manager is saying that, he means it,” Jamieson said.
“He’s not one to try and fool anybody or make anything up to please anyone so it has been productive and we’ve worked hard.
“It’s what you expect from a team that’s wanting to be Champions and hopefully the way we’ve gone about our business in the last seven, 10 days reflects on Sunday afternoon.”
Another factor for the versatile defender to consider is the matter of his 250th competition appearance, following spells at Adelaide United, Sydney FC, Perth Glory and his hometown club Western Sydney Wanderers.
Robbie Fowler’s Roar side have lost only once in their past nine outings and will try to crash the party so coming out on top at AAMI Park is the only thing on Jamieson’s mind.
“I’ve got friends that have reached 300 so I’m a bit jealous that they have reached 300 and I’m at 250!” Jamieson said.
“At the end of the career, it’ll be interesting to see how many I rack up but that’s a little thing that I’ll look on for about a minute or two before the weekend and then get back to it.”
Melbourne City v Brisbane Roar
Sunday, 1 March 2020
Kick-off: 6.30pm AEDT
Venue: AAMI Park