‘We failed’ - Mombaerts fumes about City’s lack of Derby intensity
Melbourne City head coach Eric Mombaerts was furious with his side’s lack of fight which saw them lose the Melbourne Derby battle.
Ola Toivonen’s first-half double sent Melbourne Victory off to a flyer at AAMI Park and, although Harrison Delbridge hit back in the second half, City fell to a 2-1 defeat.
Mombaerts explained that his high-pressing style only works when his players come out on top of their one-on-one duels.
And the French tactician pointed the fingers at his side for not having the ‘mental intensity’ to win their individual battles.
“It wasn’t a good performance. We started without mental intensity. We lost too many duels. It was impossible,” Mombaerts said.
“They won the challenge. We know that in our style, as we press high, as we want to be high on the pitch, we can’t fail on this.
“We failed, we failed on this, we failed on duels.
“It’s not easy for the opponent team but it’s easier.
“In our style, we need to win duels.”
Mombaerts also expressed his frustration about his defence not taking on board instructions on how to deal with Victory’s Swedish marquee marksman.
“We know on the cross, [Ola] Toivonen is always in the far post,” Mombaerts said.
“We know this. We work on this, and we conceded.
“That’s terrible because we know that happens like that and we have to anticipate.
“Second goal was also a big mistake of our central defender.”
Victory chief Marko Kurz held special praise for Tim Hoogland, who strengthened the visitor’s backline on his Hyundai A-League debut.
The German stopper has missed the opening 10 games of the campaign with a quad injury picked up on the eve of the season and Kurz believes the 34-year-old made the difference.
“I think we stayed very compact,” Kurz said.
“[Hoogland] made the boys around him very confident.
“He organised the back four line.
“He’s not quite 100% but he was 100$ fit to start.
“It’s a key player for us and good to have him back.”
Sydney FC v Melbourne City
Date: Sunday, 29 December
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Kick-off: 6.30pm AEDT