Jamieson warns rivals of harder, more intense Melbourne City

Jamieson warns rivals of harder, more intense Melbourne City

But New South Wales’ COVID situation has forced A-League bosses to shuffle the schedule, and City now will take on Brisbane at Redcliffe on Tuesday night as Kisnorbo – who coached the team on a handful of occasions last year when Erick Mombaerts was unavailable – takes charge in his own right for the first time.

Jamieson says the transition from the veteran Frenchman to the pugnacious Australian will be seamless, although there will be differences.

“Patrick was up close and personal with Erick, he was with him from day dot, he knows every detail and still keeps in contact with him,” Jamieson says.

“It was disappointing to lose Erick after just one season, but understandable. Look at the bigger picture, his age, his family are all back in France. But he is still in contact with people with the club, and his influence is definitely there.”

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Jamieson believes the elevation of Kisnorbo to the top job is a “feelgood story” which offers a pathway to all aspiring coaches.

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“He was a player in the A-League, a captain and then worked himself up from the academy coaching team to the W-League team to the reserves and now he’s the head coach of the men in the A-League. His progress is something that can be an example and inspire us all,” Jamieson says.

The City skipper says Kisnorbo will change things at the margins but he will look for more aggression and commitment from his team, especially in pressing opponents when they are not in possession.

“Patrick has his own attributes. He’s passionate and intense, but tactically you can see what he is doing is an extension of what Erick did,” Jamieson says.

“You can’t tame a lion and I think you will see a lot of Patrick in us as a team, I think we will improve without the ball. The intensity he wants us at is frightening.

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“To have the possession you want and the way you want to play you have to work hard off the ball to get it, and that’s what we have been working on – but I think we will also improve with the ball too.”

City have retained the bulk of the squad that did so well last season and has added to it with a handful of signings, including ex-Brisbane midfielder Aiden O’Neill.

Kisnorbo is reluctant to say his squad is better than the one that went so close last year, but Jamieson says the competition for places is even more intense than in the past.

“The best and biggest thing we have done is that we have kept the core of the squad. A lot of the teams in the league had a lot of upheaval,” he says.

“We have added to the squad with some very good players and created depth. We have basically got two players in every position.”

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Jamieson has no regrets about missing out on what would have been the biggest game of his City career last August.

“Leaving the hub after beating Sydney [in a regular season fixture] was difficult. I spoke to the players and was emotional about it, and had intended to come back if my son was born on the due date,” he says.

“It was the right decision. My partner was rushed to hospital on grand final day and had I not been there for that, with no family [in Victoria] I probably would not have forgiven myself.

“There’s obviously a little part of me that believes I would have made a difference. The boys were fantastic. But I think in terms of on-field I would have helped. That said, we did really well to get to where we got to even if we fell short.”

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