Fit-again Melbourne City defender Harrison Delbridge says his A-League side can run downhill into finals form if they can end their Sydney FC hoodoo on Sunday.
City have lost their past seven matches against Sydney FC and come into the Leichhardt Oval clash with just one win in their last tow months of football.
Still, Delbridge is eyeing a kinder draw beyond the Sky Blues and wants to carry momentum into it.
"(There's) an urgency more than anything to break through and get that result at an important time," he said.
"We aren't oblivious to the fact we've only won one in eight.
"We can only fix it in our next game and that's against, on paper, one of the tougher teams we're going to face in the last six games of the season.
"If we can win that game it sets us up for a good run towards the finals."
Based on ladder positions, Delbridge is right.
City only face two more teams contending for finals; fourth-placed Wellington (away) and fifth-placed Adelaide (home), with matches against the bottom three rounding out their run home.
The gangly defender is not universally loved by City fans, but the club's record with Delbridge available show his importance.
City have a better head-to-head record, or have at least broken even, against every team in the league when Delbridge has played; except his weekend's opponents Sydney FC.
Delbridge is yet to pick up a point against Sydney, playing in a 4-0, 3-0 and 2-0 loss to the Sky Blues.
"They've got a lot of quality and can hurt you in different ways," Delbridge said of Sunday's opponent.
"They've got a lot of experienced players that are smart, do little things on and off the ball ... someone like (Adam) Le Fondre, he can be smart with his body.
"He's not the biggest body but he knows what he's doing ... making smart runs. They're organised and dangerous going forward."
Australian Associated Press