ALM finals format concerns City boss Vidosic
Melbourne City manager Rado Vidosic has flagged concerns with the A-League Men finals format, urging league bosses to consider a shake-up to avoid teams losing sharpness.
City drew 1-1 with Sydney FC in the first game of their semi-final on Friday, with the second leg scheduled for Melbourne's AAMI Park seven days later.
Sydney came into the tie off a gruelling elimination final win over Western Sydney Wanderers, while City, who were one of the top two teams at the end of the regular season, got a week off.
There is also a fortnight's gap between the second leg of the semi-final and the 3 June grand final in Sydney.
"It's not just having a week off in round one (of the finals), you have a week off before the grand final," Vidosic said.
"In the five weeks, you only play three games and for us, if we are in the grand final, we will have played two of those games away.
"There's no real advantage, so I would honestly like them to reconsider at least the format, if they can't change where the grand final will be played, so that there is some benefit for the top two teams."
Vidosic said his side lacked some of their cutting edge against Sydney on Friday, arguing that the Sky Blues had an increased sharpness due to their win over the Wanderers.
Socceroos forward Mathew Leckie got through his first 90-minute performance since February and grabbed their sole goal but City's fortunes were not helped by the late withdrawal of Aiden O'Neill.
The City midfielder suffered back spasms in the build-up to the semi-final encounter, but Vidosic is hopeful he will be on deck for the second leg.
"We absolutely missed him, I think he was one of the key players throughout the whole season," Vidosic said.
"He breaks down the opponents' attacks and wins the ball.
"I was told that he's going to be okay, he's got spasms in his back.
"It would have been too risky to travel, so we left him in Melbourne and fingers crossed he's going to be okay to play on Friday."