Franjic fires up City with A-League title vow

Melbourne City full-back Ivan Franjic has argued there’s no reason to doubt his side’s ability to win the Hyundai A-League this season.

While City lost 4-3 to leaders Western Sydney Wanderers last week to drop to third in the table, Franjic reckons the attacking firepower of John van ‘t Schip’s team will ensure they remain in title contention throughout the campaign.

Throughout the history of the club formerly known as Melbourne Heart, there have been few occasions when they have been rated championship contenders.

But with 43 goals in 17 matches, City look almost certain to surpass Brisbane Roar’s record of 58 in 2010-11, which has Franjic excited about silverware.

“From day one our intention was to win the league and nothing’s changed since then,” the Socceroos defender told reporters on Thursday.

“We believe in ourselves and we believe in our ability, especially when we’re scoring 43 goals in our 17 games. You can’t doubt the ability of us going all the way.”

Melbourne City's Aaron Mooy, Harry Novillo and Ivan Franjic celebrate scoring against Wellington.

Last Friday, the Wanderers exposed City’s ongoing weakness – their defence – cruising to a 3-0 lead after 65 minutes only to survive a late charge from Van ‘t Schip’s men.

City have kept just one clean sheet all season but while that annoys Franjic, he doesn’t think the Bundoora-based team should shackle their attacking instincts.

“I think we’ll just keep doing more of the same because… it’s been working for us, we’ve been getting results,” he said.

“We’ve only lost two in the last 11… so when something’s working for us, why stop?

“Yeah we copped four on the weekend but we also scored three against the leading team. 

“So if we can rectify those little problems the results can be in our favour.”

But the three-time A-League champion with Brisbane Roar conceded City’s preference for 3-5-2 involves an inherent risk.

With Franjic and Michael Zullo given licence to attack as wing-backs, City’s three central defenders can be undermanned. Something Western Sydney exploited.

“They had a game plan, obviously, and we just turned over the ball too easily and gave them good opportunities through the middle of the park, and they really hit us defensively,” Franjic said.

“Obviously, me and [Michael] Zullo were advanced in this new system, and they put the ball beside us to their wingers, who were cheating a bit, and it worked for them.”

City face Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Sunday.