Melbourne City's focus on defence paying dividends - Eugene Galekovic
During his 11 seasons with Adelaide United, veteran goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic was well aware of his new A-League club Melbourne City's frailties, as well as their strengths.
City have long been known for their attacking prowess, but also their leaky defence.
"We knew we could get at them defensively but we would concede as well," Galekovic said on Monday.
City have spent the start of A-League season focused on defence, and after two rounds it appears to be working as they sit atop the ladder and boast the best defensive record having conceded just one goal.
"This year we have worked hard on our defensive side of things and it's working well but it's still early days," Galekovic said.
The 36-year-old keeper has been joined in Melbourne by goal-scoring midfielder Stefan Mauk, who started his career with City before a brief stint in Adelaide and then an unhappy year in the Netherlands.
Mauk, 22, said defence had been the preseason focus under coach Warren Joyce.
As well as skills the new coach showed his defensive mindset with his line-up, with nearly half the team that beat Melbourne Victory 2-1 on Saturday night having played as central defenders.
"We know we're going to score goals," Mauk said.
"We're focusing more on being defensively strong -- we know we've got enough quality going forward but it's more about working as a team.
"The whole preseason was based around everyone winning their individual battles and as a team collectively making sure we're solid and we don't get broken down easily."
Former Socceroos captain John Kosmina said if the creative Mauk continued his good form he should come into World Cup reckoning.
Mauk, who made just three senior appearances for Dutch club NEC, said he hadn't given up on a call-up after being drafted into a Socceroos camp before moving overseas.
"For me it's good to be playing minutes," Mauk said.
"I am pretty ambitious as a player and a person and I don't see any reason why I can't make the squad.
"Being in that camp once was a great experience but my greatest challenge is to continue playing well for the club."