Melbourne City are keen to generate momentum off their A-League win over Newcastle in which prize recruit Mathew Leckie scored his first domestic league goal in 11 years.
Defending A League Men champions Melbourne City are seeking to generate momentum after prize recruit Mathew Leckie opened his account for the club. Their attack sizzled in a 4-2 away win over Newcastle on Tuesday.
Melbourne City season
- Melbourne City beat Newcastle Jets 4-2 in the A-League this Tuesday.
- Despite a Jamie Maclaren brace, it was Matthew Leckie's goal that was the surprise of the evening.
- The title holders are hoping this win will continue to generate momentum, and push them past first placed cross-city Rivas Western United.
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In-from Jamie Maclaren scored a second half brace, Leckie netted his first Australian league goal since February 2011 and former Jet Andrew Nabbout also posed problems for the home defence.
With playmaker Florin Berenguer pulling the strings and Connor Metcalfe and Aiden O'Neill bossing the midfield and feeding the attack, City looked sharp.
Socceroo stalwart Leckie went close with a couple of shots early in the game before he hit the target off a Maclaren pass in the 56th minute in his eighth A-League Men game for City.
"We need to be a little bit patient," said City assistant coach Petr Kratky who was in charge of the team on Tuesday, as head coach Patrick Kisnorbo couldn't attend after returning a positive COVID test earlier in the day
"But he (Leckie) is a very good quality player and hopefully he'll just keep scoring for us and give us attacking force."
Nabbout said it was always going to take time for City's attack to fully hit their straps as they worked to integrate Leckie.
"Obviously Lecks coming in, he has come from a completely different game plan in Germany and like anything it takes time to gel," Nabbout told Paramount Plus.
"We've finally started clicking."
Kratky, who will also be in charge for Friday's away game against Western Sydney, wanted to build on the momentum of Tuesday's win which lifted City four places to second.
They haven't had back-to-back victories this season and had won just one of their last five games before Tuesday and were coming off a loss to Western United.
"We hope we can make another three points on Friday and get some momentum because with a couple of draws and a last game loss, a win is always good," Kratky said.
"We're talking about winning more games in a row"
Jets' coach Arthur Papas rated City as the best team his club had faced this season, even though they were only sixth on the ladder before Tuesday's game.
"I know it's easy to get caught up in ladders, but if you look at their game over time and you see the way they are playing, they are still the benchmark for me," Papas said.
He wasn't sure if captain and defender Matt Jurman would be fit for Saturday's away game against Melbourne Victory after suffering an ankle injury, but will look for some fresh legs.
"I felt for the first time that we just weren't close enough physically and that's a concern obviously," Papas said.
"In fairness, we're talking about a team that didn't play for 42 days and goes and plays three games in nine days, so you would expect that to happen.
"That's why we've got to look at the squad and see what changes we can make now."