Melbourne City captain Scott Jamieson says there’s no signs of complacency as the club continues its title defence against Adelaide United this weekend, but admits there’s a form line to rewrite against their upcoming opponents.
Returning to Adelaide for their first away fixture of the new 2021/22 A-League Men season, following a 2-1 win against the Brisbane Roar at home to open their campaign, Melbourne City’s captain has conceded the club is being realistic with their own expectations, and the expectations placed on them as reigning Champions and Premiers.
Speaking to media yesterday morning, Jamieson highlighted a growing belief and hunger was still present within the walls of the club. They’re adapting to the present pressure that encompasses an organisation who’s won their first piece of silverware in the national men’s competition since their inception in 2010.
“I think the club is obviously a realist in the sense that we have won our first Championship and our first Premiership but within the club and the characters inside the club, there’s no case of complacency or there’s no place of patting ourselves on the back,” Jamieson said.
“There’s still the hunger, there’s still the want to get better individually and collectively so I think the view of the football club has changed from the outside rather than the inside.
“Yeah we [hadn’t] won any titles prior to last year but we always knew that there was pressure from outside of the football club because of the whole resources and everything like that.
“To be honest, when I played against Melbourne City I wanted to beat them because I always saw them as the spoilt kids so I kind of get [what] other clubs and other players have always thought of us.
“I don’t think it’s necessarily changed whatsoever inside the club, there’s always a want and hunger to get better and win titles.”
Travelling to Adelaide has been a disaster for Melbourne City in recent seasons, the club not picking up any points in their last four encounters in the City of Churches.
City’s last victory against United in Adelaide came in Round 8 of the 2018/19 A-League Men season where the away side prevailed 2-0, but since then, have lost the last four matchups between the two sides – including the FFA Cup Final in 2019 – by an aggregate of 10-1.
A former Adelaide United player himself, Jamieson admits this type of form isn’t ideal, noting the atmosphere from United fans at Hindmarsh Stadium in making it a hostile place for opposition teams, no less the actual team on the pitch too with their style of gameplay.
However, he also understands there’s always a case of looking to build into a new season, and predicts this weekend’s fixture as a good chance to continue to do so.
“The atmosphere that’s created when we play at Hindmarsh is a good one for them and a tough one for any opposition team and that’s been the case for us as a team and as a club over the last few years,” Jamieson said.
“It’s their first home game so you take that into consideration, because it’s a new season, they might have a bigger crowd than they [might] usually get which is great. I think it’s always a good situation where you’re playing within an opposition crowd and they’ve got a big following so that’s always a good test.
“I think they’ll be confident from what they did last week (a 1-1 draw with the Perth Glory)… they have strengths, they have a few new players, obviously Isaias coming back so it’ll be a tough test. We’re fully aware of that, but we’re very confident with how we stack up against Adelaide.
“There’s that challenge of trying to break some bad form in Adelaide so that’s exciting in itself, and we obviously got the win last week which was great. [We’re] looking to build on that and build on the performance and improve, that’s the process of it.”
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Despite the club’s first-up win in Round 1, the defender doesn’t believe that City have shown their full potential for the season ahead just yet.
They’re taking plenty of lessons out of defeating the Roar and previous matchups against United, but also their approach on the training track in the leadup to the game.
“I think hitting your straps early on in the season is a bit tough due to the whole pre-season, the way it panned out so I think what’s key is just trying to improve from what we did last week,” Jamieson told.
“[Head coach Patrick Kisnorbo] did say everyone was on the same wavelength in that the first half, [so that] was a good bar [to set]. Then we slipped away and were disappointing for our standards, albeit still winning the game.
“The opportunities were there for us to win the game convincingly… we’ll look towards trying to rectify a few slips within ourselves as individuals and as a team but then build on what we did, last week’s good stuff.
“We identified where we let slip with our structure, with our press, with our intensity.
“It was clear for everyone to see when it’s on a video and it’s in your eyes rather than just being talked about, so that was good to be able to see that, where we went wrong. It’s about making sure we don’t make the same mistakes twice so for us.
“We don’t necessarily expect to be playing our best football at this stage of the season, but we do expect to be improving and getting better every week and that’s the plan especially for this one.”
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