Worried City coach urges 'professional' defending

Melbourne City must improve their defensive mentality, according to coach John van 't Schip, if they are to take full advantage of their impressive attacking play in the Hyundai A-League.

Ahead of City's clash with the rapidly improving Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night, van 't Schip bemoaned his team's poor defensive record this season.

City have conceded two goals per game this term but have somewhat made up for their flimsy defence as the A-League's leading scorers.

With City having yet to win consecutive games, Van 't Schip reckons consistency will come  when his team smartens up down back.

"It's not an individual kind of thing; it's a team thing that we have to resolve together," he said on Thursday.

"I'm very happy when we have the ball and going forward, and we also know, because we've scored the most goals.

Melbourne City players celebrate Erik Paartalu's opener against the Reds on Thursday night.

"But we also know, as a team, that we have to be more structured and more having that professional kind of mentality in defending, and we talk about that.

"[Sergio Cirio's] goal we [conceded] against Adelaide [last week], we know that was an easy goal - in our opinion - we didn't defend that well because we were ball watching."

Injuries have not helped City's cause with defenders Aaron Hughes, Ivan Franjic and Michael Zullo having barely played so far this season.

Hughes sat on the bench in last week's 4-2 win at Adelaide United, however, while previously injured forwards Corey Gameiro and Harry Novillo are also in the squad to face the Wanderers.

More good news is expected soon.

"Ivan Franjic is close. I hope he can be available in one to two weeks," Van 't Schip said. "Michael Zullo is the same, a bit further away."

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