City boss Joyce fighting to avoid the axe
Besieged Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce is fighting for his job, with club chiefs weighing up their options as they prepare for Saturday’s Melbourne derby.
Last Friday’s horror loss to Newcastle Jets has set off alarm bells with City Football Group and has prompted internal meetings about Joyce’s future.
It’s understood that City chiefs contemplated pulling the trigger this week, but it appears that Joyce will lead his under-performing team into action against second-place Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium.
A heavy loss or unconvincing display could spell the end of Joyce’s whose City contract expires at the end of this A-League season in May.
City chiefs are understood to have earmarked assistant coach, former Socceroo Tony Vidmar, as the caretaker should Joyce depart.
It is unclear whether banished striker Bruno Fornaroli would be welcomed back to the fold if Vidmar was to take over.
Club chiefs set Joyce, a former Wigan Athletic and Manchester United youth team coach, a goal of finishing inside the top three and/or qualify for the Asian Champions League.
However the style of play is at the core of City chiefs’ discontent, more so than the results – although they sit precariously in fifth spot – along with the poor crowds and fan discontent.
A woeful run of one win in seven games has seen seventh-place Newcastle Jets draw to within six points of City.
Joyce has twice come close to facing the axe at City – just over a year ago when the club was in the midst of a disastrous run, before Daniel Arzani almost single-handedly reignited their season.
He was under immense pressure earlier this season, after the Round 3 home horror show to Sydney FC.
While results have improved since, a section of City fans have continued to campaign for Joyce’s sacking, claiming that the mystery suspension of Fornaroli is part of a trend that has claimed fellow fan favourites Tim Cahill, Fernando Brandan and Neil Kilkenny.
Joyce joined chief executive Scott Munn and captain Scott Jamieson at a fan engagement event last week and was well received, but the manner of the Jets loss has again heaped pressure on the coach.
Don't think this has been posted before, and it is a little dated now. Still, other than - cough cough - Bossi no one seems to have paid much attention to our UCL winning fitness coach.