Luke Brattan wary of Josep Gombau's 'unpredictable' Wanderers
Melbourne City midfielder Luke Brattan has some sympathy for Western Sydney ahead of their A-League meeting on New Year's Day.
Josep Gombau's side is very much a work in progress and have been beaten to nil in four of their matches under his tenure so far.
The Wanderers' only respite under Gombau came with a VAR-assisted win over a nine-man Central Coast Mariners.
As Brattan knows changing a team's tactics and structure can be a battle because City have just done it themselves.
"It is tough. And we haven't changed as much as the Wanderers are," Brattan told AAP.
"Gombau's come in half-way through a season and tried to change it. We had most of preseason to change things which was easier.
"They're a bit all over the shop at the moment but I think that's when teams are at their most dangerous. They're unpredictable.
"They're in between two styles at the moment ... but they've got some fantastic players.
"It's a tough thing to do but he's a great coach and he's capable of doing it."
Warren Joyce has led a defence-first accountability regime at Melbourne City over the last six months, which has claimed casualties but -- for the most part -- got results.
But City are in danger of losing their hard-won gains without a return to the winner's list.
Back-to-back losses to Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory have City poised to fall out of the top three for the first time this season, should their run continue.
Brattan admitted the last-gasp derby loss was a heart-breaker, but they'd be out to bounce back at ANZ Stadium.
"It was tough to swallow as well, the way we lost," he said. "Christmas came at a good time to forget about it and have a couple of days off and spend time with some family and have some tideway from football.
"We're in a good position on the ladder and we've got to kick on."