What We Learnt: A tough defeat in Melbourne

It was a tough outing in Melbourne on Sunday night, with City emerging 3-0 victors.

The opportunity to pick up back-to-back wins wasn’t snapped up, so attention can turn to next Sunday’s doubleheader at McDonald Jones Stadium.

REPORT: The lowdown on defeat in Melbourne

For now though, here’s what we learnt down at AAMI Park.

Cowburn’s hat in the ring

Nick Cowburn was propelled into the starting line-up for a Hyundai A-League clash for the first time since Round 26 last season, and the midfielder didn't disappoint.

He was a shining light in the defeat, helping drive the Jets forward in attack and break City down in defence.

The positive performance from the midfielder will give boss, Ernie Merrick much to ponder throughout the week at training.

Nick Cowburn Melbourne City
Cowburn put in a big 90 minutes against the Citizens

Merrick wants more

While Cowburn was a shining light on Sunday night, Ernie Merrick recognised in the post-match press conference that it wasn’t a performance which was up to scratch.

“Riley McGree scored a good early goal, which sometimes spurs a team into lifting,” Merrick said.

“City were up for it, played well and knocked the ball around, but we just couldn’t get into the game.

“We’re really missing Jair, Roy O’Donovan. Joey Champness has got to come back, we’re missing our new signing Kaine Sheppard.

“It was just a poor Newcastle United performance… I have to say I’m very disappointed by that.”

The whole squad will be keen to put the defeat behind them now, and look forward to picking up a full six points from their upcoming pair of home games.

Ridenton returns

Another positive from Sunday night was a return from injury for midfielder, Matt Ridenton.

Injected into the match just prior to the hour mark, the Kiwi came on in place of Steven Ugarkovic and did well.

With the battle for places in midfield always a hearty one, Ridenton will be in for a big week on the training paddock to crack the starting XI next Sunday.

Rd 7 double-header