Michael Zullo says a competitive environment and an atmosphere of ambition is the key behind Melbourne City’s stunning Hyundai A-League form.
City surged to second on the ladder on Monday night after an eye-catching 3-1 disposal of Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park.
Some of City’s football was sublime, with Zullo, Bruno Fornaroli, Harry Novillo and Aaron Mooy the chief contributors.
John van ‘t Schip’s side has now scored an incredible 40 goals from their 16 games this season and they will take some stopping come finals time.
“The environment is firstly very competitive which is imperative for a successful side,” Zullo told Fox Sports.
“We’ve got competition for spots all over the park now which maybe we didn’t have at the start of the season.
“More importantly it’s just an atmosphere of enthusiasm and ambition.
“We’re not interested in coming second or third, we want to win the league. We’re second now so we’re one off where we want to be.
Fornaroli got things rolling with his 13th goals of the season on 12 minutes before Novillo struck either side of half-time to have the three points wrapped up with 40 minutes still to play.
While City didn’t have a bad player, Novillo was a clear man-of-the-match and Zullo feels the Frenchman is taking his game to great heights this season.
“He’s a very special player and he’s shown what he’s capable of now,” the Socceroos winger said of Novillo.
“His whole youth set up he’s come through Olympic Lyon, you don’t do that unless you have unbelievable talent and he’s starting to show that now.
“He’s a powerful guy and his work ethic is starting to pick up now and it’s taking his game to another level.”
Zullo was also delighted to get through the full 90 minutes himself after a season which has been plagued by injuries.
“I’m happy to be back, happy to be contributing to my side and I just want to stay fit and keep going until the end of the season,” he said.
“I’m a bit disappointed I didn’t keep it going in the second half. I didn’t get any assists which is always the goal for me each half.
“What’s important for me now is to get some rhythm in my body that’s when I’m going to hit my best form, when I can play consecutive games week after week, get fit and hopefully contribute to a winning side.
“I think we have a very talented group of players this year and we can do some special stuff.”
City next travels to Western Sydney on Friday night for a top-of-the-table clash against the Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium.