Melbourne City coach John van 't Schip has urged his players not to go into their shells after their winning run came to a halt against Brisbane Roar on Sunday.
City's streak of wins stopped at four with the 3-1 away loss to Roar and van 't Schip is keen for his players to continue to take risks and attack from the outset as they look to bounce back against Sydney FC at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
"We always want to start fast, we want to make sure that we're immediately in the game, and the best thing to do that is by scoring quickly or by attacking early and getting a good vibe into the team," van 't Schip said on Friday.
"That's going to be the starting point but you also have to deal with an opponent and they have their approach.
"Graham Arnold knows how to get his team organised and they're very good at breaking down the game of their opponent.
"(But) for us it's important now to bounce back."
City's fortunes on the injury front continue to improve after a horror start to the season with Michael Zullo, Aaron Hughes and marquee Robert Koren returning to full fitness and vying for starts.
The coach agreed that the increased competition for spots was a key factor in their surge up the ladder but added that he wouldn't be making wholesale changes after the loss to Brisbane.
City scored 16 goals in their run of four wins and while van 't Schip urged his players to regain that attacking flair he also wants a greater focus on team defence.
"I think we're attacking enough - we've scored the most goals in the league - on the other hand we've conceded almost the most as well, so there are a few things that we have to get right," he said.
"You can't say that our games are annoying - the games that we play in have an average of three of four goals, maybe more.
"So we want to keep the scoring and make sure that we concede less. That's something that we're working on."
The visitors will be without key players Alex Brosque (hamstring) and the suspended Matt Simon, with City's Paulo Retre also suspended for the marquee match-up between third-placed Melbourne and Sydney, who are fourth on goal difference.