‘Unfortunate’ Berenguer ready to kick-on as Joyce praises City mentality

Melbourne City import Florin Berenguer is capable of reaching a new level in the Hyundai A-League according to manager Warren Joyce.

The Frenchman, who joined City in the winter, has endured a frustrating campaign with injury restricting him to 17 games, performances that have left fans a little underwhelmed.

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The 30-year old midfielder turned it on against Brisbane Roar on Friday night however, providing an assist for Rostyn Griffiths' opener as well as holding the ball up and creating space for Luke Brattan who duly set up Shayon Harrison for City's second.

Speaking in the wake of his side’s 4-1 win, Joyce said Berenguer he’d only scratched the surface of his potential.

City ran out comfortable winners in the end.

“I thought in the first half all the good chances were from his play and maybe on another night we could be two or three goals up in the first half,” Joyce said.

“He’s a good footballer, he’s a good brain, he’s an honest lad. He’s capable of doing a lot of things in football, he’s just got to feel confident in himself.”

The Englishman, himself under pressure after a poor 3-0 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers last week, said a combination of injury and some unfortunate events off the pitch had conspired to limit the Frenchman’s effectiveness.

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“Possibly it was yeah [his best game],” Joyce said.

“I think he’s been a bit unfortunate with a couple of injuries he’s had where he’s trying to break in and get himself going on a run of form but then he gets injured and he’s been out a long time.

“He’s had one or two problems family-wise settling in the area...he even got robbed!

"His house got broken into once so he’s had a few things that have been issues for him but he conducts himself very well, he’s an absolute model professional.

“Even through his disappointment of being injured he works his absolute socks off when he’s injured so he makes his rehab time as short as possible.”

Berenguer led the Roar on a merry dance at AAMI Park
Berenguer led the Roar on a merry dance at AAMI Park

Joyce said he was happy with his team’s character after they gave up their lead thanks to an own goal from Harrison Delbridge.

“It’s a good scoreline, a good performance particularly good character I think at 1-1, [it was] a testing time, testing moments,” he said.

“The morale’s been really good considering, obviously you don’t see that from outside the football club.

“We’ve done lots of work trying to improve and develop leaders and make them more accountable and demanding of one another because they’re a really good group, really honest and professional and you’re trying to make them a lot more ruthless really.”

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