GF loss will make City stronger: Mombaerts

Melbourne City suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in their first A-League grand final but coach Erick Mombaerts says his team can only get stronger from it.

Newly appointed Melbourne City Head Coach ERICK MOMBAERTS speaks during a Melbourne City A-League media opportunity at CFA Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.
Newly appointed Melbourne City Head Coach ERICK MOMBAERTS speaks during a Melbourne City A-League media opportunity at CFA Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts says his team will be stronger for the experience of losing their maiden A-League grand final.

City lost to Sydney FC 1-0 in extra-time on Sunday but dominated large periods of the game in a hard-fought performance.

It followed a season where they secured second place on the table - the best finish in the club's history - and an Asian Champions League qualifying play-off spot.

"It's a great season - without a trophy - but it's a great season,' Mombaerts said post-match.

"I think it's a team that has progressed, and to play this kind of game - grand finals, (the FFA Cup final), maybe next season the Asian Champions League - that will also help the team to reach another level.

"We didn't have the experience of this grand final, now we have this experience.

"And I'm sure we will learn (from) this experience, and we will come back stronger."

Mombaerts instilled a possession-based, attacking style of play in his first season in Melbourne that delivered a club record of 47 regular-season points.

"We showed this year that we can set up an offensive style of play - we are the best team with Sydney (in) attacking, we have the best scorer (Jamie Maclaren)," he said.

"I'm very proud of all this because when I came, it was my main goal, to set up this.

"So when you achieve your main goal, for me, it's the best.

"Yes, I wanted to win this trophy but we have (improved) a lot."

The 65-year-old, who joined City on a three-year deal in June 2019, has been linked to a return to France.

Post-match, Mombaerts was unwilling to focus on his personal coaching future.

"It's not the moment to answer this question now - I just want to talk about the game and my first idea now at the moment is to support my players and my staff, they have done a great job," Mombaerts said.

"I don't want to speak about myself, my situation - it's too early. We will see in a few days.

"But at the moment my mind is only focused on the game."