After 300 days, Melbourne City will finally be back on home soil this weekend.
Last season’s runners-up welcome Western United to AAMI Park in the first of nine ‘Victorian Derbies’ throughout the A-League campaign.
City last featured in-front of their home fans on March 14 and played much of their run to the Grand Final in-front of none to very little support.
Star striker Jamie Maclaren hopes the fans can provide the lift needed from playing in-front of home support.
“We missed playing in-front of our fans,” Maclaren said.
“We’ve seen how other teams have gotten the lift from their fans and it’s about time we get our lift.
“Let’s be honest, we had a great season last year, we got to a Grand Final and majority of those people had to stay at home on their couches watching the games.
“I think we are pumped to be at the stadium and not take that for granted.”
Life under Patrick Kisnorbo hasn’t gotten off to the greatest of starts for City, who have split their opening two games.
A win against Brisbane was quickly soured by a 2-0 loss on the road to Adelaide who were willed on by a raucous Coopers Stadium.
“The fans in Adelaide didn’t deflate us, they just inflated the Adelaide players,” Maclaren said.
“They scored straight away from the red card and you’re walking up a hill to get back into the game… that definitely helped them.”
Last season, Maclaren feasted on Western United, slamming home seven goals in four games.
On all four of those occasions City came home with the chocolates including a 2-0 win in last season’s semi-final.
“For me, it’s just about making sure I’m in the right positions to be in goal scoring positions and last year they happened to be the team I was scoring against,” Maclaren said.
“We’ve had some good battles and they’re a very good team that can hurt you so we’ve worked on the way they set up and how we’re going to approach it.”