Football 9 months ago

City out to reheat A-League title bid

  • City out to reheat A-League title bid

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 09: Michael Jakobsen of Melbourne City watches on during the round 10 A-League match between Sydney FC and Melbourne City FC at ANZ Stadium on December 9, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

By their own admission, Melbourne City have lost touch with the A-League title race but will seek to reheat their championship credentials at the ground where last season's ambitions were laid to rest.

City head to Cooper's Stadium to play Adelaide United on Thursday night, the scene of their 4-1 semi-final defeat last April.

But it's a much changed City and a very different Reds side that will meet.

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Adelaide can't buy a win and it's City with the most recent piece of silverware under their belt; the FFA Cup.

A dozen changes to City's squad - as well as the reduced output of Guillermo Amor's side - should minimise any trauma from their return to Cooper's Stadium.

Danish centre-back Michael Jakobsen, one of those new faces, said it was crucial to focus on the here and now against the Reds.

"We're a bit behind the top teams and we want to get as close as possible to put some pressure on them," he told AAP.

"They might be the former champions but they're on the bottom now.

"It doesn't matter if who we play are on the bottom or the top. We want to go to Adelaide and get to three points. It's going to be a tight game and they will be a tough team to beat."

City are third on the table but a month-long winless run has dropped the expansion side six points behind Melbourne Victory and 13 points behind leaders Sydney FC.

It's perhaps no surprise that the return of Jakobsen to the first-team coincided with their run-busting defeat of Western Sydney.

The Dane has looked a class above in his first campaign in Australia and said he was relieved to overcome his calf complaint.

"It's always nice to be back and to win at the same time was perfect," he said.

"After a couple of draws, we needed a win and it's good to be back on track."

City's December stagnation - combined with their global scouting network - had many suggesting they would reinforce in January but Jakobsen suggested that may not be necessary.

"Right now we are confident with the guys we have. We have a very good squad with a lot of good players," he said.

"But it's not up to me to decide if we need new players. If the club thinks we need more quality or new players then that's what's going to happen."

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