Poor form no worries for City’s Kisnorbo ahead of A-League semifinals

Melbourne City head coach Patrick Kisnorbo isn’t allowing a sputtering run of form or the future of attacker Craig Noone to weigh on his thoughts ahead of his side’s semifinal meeting with Macarthur FC on Sunday evening. 

Fresh off securing their first-ever A-League trophy in the form of the 2020-21 A-League Premiership, City will be looking to eliminate an expansion side and reach the Grand Final for the second year in a row tomorrow; facing Macarthur FC at Jubilee Stadium in Sydney.

Despite winning the right to home-field advantage throughout the finals by virtue of their first-place finish, Melbourne’s COVID-19 related restrictions led to the Australian Professional Leagues moving that game from AAMI Park to Sydney — a move City captain Scott Jamieson declared to be “utterly disappointing”. 

“I do have an opinion [on the game moving], but there’s no point wasting my time,” Kisnorbo said on Saturday. “We just need to prepare for what’s ahead of us and that’s tomorrow’s game and that’s it.”

The loss of home ground advantage compounds the problems faced by City heading into their third semifinal in four years, with Kisnorbo already grappling with the loss of Connor Metcalfe, Curtis Good and Golden Boot winner Jamie Maclaren to Socceroos duty and injury clouds hanging over Rostyn Griffiths and Andrew Nabbout. 

See Also: ‘Anyone, Anywhere and Anytime’ – Frustrated City look to refocus ahead of relocated semifinal

The latter pair were named in City’s squad for meeting with the Bulls, their coach declaring that “they’re in contention”. 

Despite being, at their best, the most dominant side in the A-League in 2020-21, City will also fly to Sydney with a number of questions marks hanging over their form; the club taking only one win from their last five regular-season games and going down to lowly Newcastle Jets in their season finale. 

Kisnorbo, though, isn’t paying attention to what the form guide may say, declaring that he had been satisfied with the performances of his side as they experimented with a number of new looks after the loss of their Socceroo trio. 

“We looked at a few things,” he said. “Obviously, some things needed improving, some things that actually worked. It was about trying to get better at those little things and trying to improve. 

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“I was happy in the end with the result of the way that we tried to have a look at some things and something different. 

“You can take [form] the way you want to take it. 

“Ok, the result was the result, it is what it is. Can’t change that. But there was a deeper focus on more than the result for us. 

“I never have [looked at the form book]. Even during the regular season I never have paid attention to results, I’ve always paid attention to the way we go about things in our processes.

“That’s more important for me.”

Another potential wrinkle for Kisnorbo’s thinking is the future and mindset of attacker Craig Noone. 

After missing his side’s last two games, the Englishman was named in City’s squad for Sunday evening’s clash and looms as a likely starter. However, The ABC Football Podcast has reported that the off-contract 33-year-old has already signed a deal for the 2021-22 season with City’s semifinal foes. 

See Also: City’s Nathaniel Atkinson chasing titles and Tasmanian Olympic history

It comes a week after Danny De Silva, who is also off to the Bulls, played for the Mariners in their Elimination Final loss to Ante Milicic’s side. 

Questioned on the status of his attacker, Kisnorbo said he hadn’t broached the topic of Noone’s next destination with him and that regardless of what the future held, he remained an important and focused member of the team. 

“Nooney is still here at the moment,” he said. “If [him signing for Macarthur is] the case, that’s the case but we treat him like we have the last couple of years, he’s a Melbourne City player at the moment and he’s ready to do a job for the team. 

“For me, I don’t care. I really don’t care. 

“I spoke to Craig and he’s just worried about the now and helping the team, so Nooney is a great professional and a great guy and he’s needed with us.”

Enjoying Joey’s coverage of Australian sport? Your support helps keep it possible.
You’re seeing this advert because this is an unpaid, self-published piece.

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Header Image Credit: Melbourne City

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