Melbourne City FC skipper Patrick Kisnorbo says his side can’t feel sorry for themselves after the weekend’s derby defeat as City contend with a lengthening injury toll ahead of their clash with bogey side Wellington on Saturday.
City saw their strangle-hold on a top six berth loosen following their 3-0 defeat to Melbourne Victory on Saturday night, with a resurgent Brisbane now just one point behind John van‘t Schip’s side.
And the City boss will be sweating on the fitness of some key players for their difficult trip to face the Phoenix this weekend.
Erik Paartalu (calf), Tando Velaphi (shoulder) and Jonatan Germano (Achilles) will all need to pass fitness tests to play while Mate Dugandzic (knee), James Brown (knee), Rob Wielaert (ankle) and Ben Garuccio are all at least another week away.
It’s a less than ideal scenario before they take on a side they have beaten just once in their last nine meetings.
City was also on the end of a 5-1 drubbing the last time they faced the Phoenix in Wellington back in November.
“They’re a tough team, they’re in the top six for good reason and it’s going to be a tough task over there but hopefully we can show our quality and get the result we want.” Kisnorbo told reporters on Wednesday.
“The main thing is it is about us and what we do as a team and how we prepare.
“Hopefully we can go over there with confidence and get the result we want.”
Kisnorbo conceded the loss to their fierce neighbour was tough to swallow but urged his team-mates to move on quickly when they walk out at the Hutt Recreational Ground.
“It was just one of those games that we have to get over quickly because we have to focus on this week,” the ex-Socceroos defender said.
“Obviously things didn’t go to plan, that happens sometimes in sport and we just have to regroup and look forward to this week’s game,
“Last week has gone and we just have to focus on this week.”
After making his debut in a 30-minute cameo off the bench in the derby, Socceroo striker Josh Kennedy could make his first start for the club on Saturday.
David Williams is also in line for a start after impressing off the bench against Victory.
But it’s at the back where City will have to tighten up, conceding 18 goals in their last six away matches – an average of three per game.