City boss left to lament team's poor decisions
MELBOURNE City coach John van't Schip remains proud of his team's progress despite its derby loss, conceding big-game fatigue may have set in.
While the Dutchman conceded his men played poorly, he declared they still tried to play the City way for which they were now known.
Van't Schip praised the performance of teen defender Ruon Tongyik, who was composed in just his second start replacing Michael Jakobsen (calf).
Jakobsen may return next week, while Luke Brattan (groin) will be assessed after coming off late.
Tim Cahill's goal was cancelled out by Marco Rojas and Besart Berisha's late winner, as City relinquished second spot to Melbourne Victory after the 2-1 loss.
"We've had a few tough weeks behind us with big games and this was one game too much,” van't Schip said.
"If you look at what we've done in the last six months, (we've) showed a way of playing that everyone's talking about - not always in a positive way, because that's what they want to take away.
"We're happy we've got a real identity on the way we play. There's still a long way to go.
"We've got 11 new players and eight or nine in the line-up compared to last season, so we're in a good place.
"We won the (FFA) Cup, some young players are coming into the team, they're all positive signs.
"The result wasn't what we wanted but if we look at the way we're playing and improving and where we want to go to we're on the right path.
"You want to win these games, you want to win every game. But these things will happen, I think we're in a good place.”
Van't Schip lamented City's wastefulness as they struggled to contend with Victory's press and rapid transition despite enjoying 60% of possession.
"During the game the decision-making ended up being wrong,” he said.
"We didn't have the patience or the quality in the decision-making in that moment to switch it up after going short after a few times (to go) long to open it up.”
City has nine days off until hosting Perth Glory at AAMI Park in a double-header with the W-League side.