Joyce wants creative City against Phoenix

Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce Source: AAP

There are two distinct views of Melbourne City's season so far, and one that coach Warren Joyce clearly prefers.

There's the glass-half-empty approach, which says City were lucky to win the derby, outplayed by Central Coast, and embarrassed 3-0 by Sydney FC in three A-League outings.

And then there's the long view, where Joyce takes into account pre-season and FFA Cup games, surmising that City have played "ten games before that this season and lost one".

It's for that reason that City aren't likely to shake up their tactics ahead of Friday night's visit of Wellington, despite their last-out mauling by the Sky Blues.

Joyce has decided one bad night at the office, at the hands of the reigning premiers, won't force him into major changes.

"I don't think many people had a really good night last week. You're looking for a reaction from all of the players this week," Joyce said.

"At least (at training) there's been a bounce back. At least we've shown some pride in the training performances and it's been a competitive week."

Joyce admitted to being gobsmacked by City's lack of competitiveness against Sydney, which indeed was just their second loss in 11 matches since beginning pre-season.

Friendlies against A-League sides and their FFA Cup campaign yielded just one defeat - to Western Sydney in their Cup quarter-final before Sydney's visit.

Even then, Joyce suggested the nature of the loss meant his players shouldn't lose belief in their game plan.

"They've had four shots on goal and scored three of them ... tactically we weren't found out," he said.

"We had the ball all the time. We weren't capable of breaking them down and creating enough chances to beat them.

"We've got to be more alert getting on the ball. We've got to be running in behind. We've got to give teams more problems than we did last week."

City can expect to encounter a wall at AAMI Park, with Phoenix defender Andrew Durante revealing first-season coach Mark Rudan had ordered "a reaction" after their own 3-0 home defeat last weekend at the hands of Western Sydney.

"The most disappointing thing was we were too open. We tried to go at them too much, which opened our lines too much," Durante said.

"If we get it right defensively I can't see anyone hurting us."

Source: AAP