The message coming from Melbourne City this season is to tighten things up defensively after proving to be the league's entertainers over the years.

City have conceded two goals in five games under Joyce and consistency is the main message coming from the boss, with Brattan impressed.

Brattan said Joyce was “refreshing” for the playing group and also praised his sense of humour.

“Warren is a fantastic coach, and he’s got pretty decent banter as well which is awesome,” Brattan told FourFourTwo.

“I cop it a fair bit with some of the stuff I wear, he’s printed a few photos out of funny looking people that I apparently look like and he’s stuck them up around the place.

“You just know every day, on the field he’s serious and then he’s got the banter. It’s very refreshing and a good balance.”

Brattan made it no secret that he would like to be playing more and has so far come off the bench twice in the four games he has played.

The midfielder was a regular starter for City last season, however he said he felt comfortable approaching Joyce to discuss any concerns he has.

“There’s still that respect but I think having banter with the boys makes him a bit approachable and that’s what you need in a coach, you can’t be scared to go and talk to him,” he said.

“I’m not playing as much at the moment, but I’m not intimidated to go and talk to him and I’ll know he’ll be honest with me.

“We’ve started the season well, we’re well drilled and defending extremely well which was missing last year.

“We just need to continue that now, it’s also not a long season so to start well is very important. We have to keep the standard high and he drives that.”

Brattsy doesn't mind rockin' the beanie. By Matt McIndoe

Brattan said he feels in excellent condition, despite the battle he's facing to regain a regular spot.

He's had a big year after the birth of his baby-daughter Amaya and the new challenge of juggling fatherhood with football.

And he said he had to slim down before the start of the 2017/18 season.

“Since last year I’ve lost about 8kg, so it’s a fair bit,” Brattan said.

“I’m a bit lighter than I was at Brisbane, it’s allowed me to add a bit more to my game, I need to be super fit to play in the team and the style we play in the A-League as well as go to the next level.

“The competition is getting better and better each year, so to keep up, my fitness has got to improve and I feel the best I’ve felt in a while, so I’m pretty happy.

“Last year coming back from England, my weight was poor, then I returned in good shape this year and it was a lot easier to get to where I am now.

“This year I really wanted to go to the next level and I looked after myself in the off-season. Having a baby might’ve had a bit to do with that, but I worked pretty hard so it was a good start.

“I feel great, credit to the gaffer for working us so hard, but also to the medical staff who have worked wonders with me.”

Brattan also admitted the Socceroos are on his mind going into a World Cup year.

Despite being involved in senior camps he remains uncapped and in January he slammed himself, feeling he wasn't good enough for the team.

Brattan said he needed to get some games going for City before he can even think about the national team.

“I’m not going to say that I deserve to be there when I don’t,” he said.

“I know Ange (Postecoglou) chooses the team on form and he’s not scared to make big decisions.

“Hopefully we do make the World Cup, I get my chance and start playing club football. But at the moment, I’m nowhere near it because I’m not playing regularly here.”