Rhys Williams (left) wants a reaction after defeat to Sydney.
Rhys Williams (left) wants a reaction after defeat to Sydney. JOE CASTRO

Williams wants to make amends in Melbourne derby

DEFENDER Rhys Williams says Saturday night's Melbourne derby is the perfect chance for Melbourne Victory to atone for its first-up loss to Sydney FC.

Victory came up short in last Saturday's grand final rematch, losing 1-0 at Etihad Stadium after a Thomas Deng own goal early in the second half put Sydney in front.

But it will be a different looking Victory team that attacks Melbourne City at the same venue this weekend, with Mark Milligan, James Troisi and Kosta Barbarouses all set to return from international duty.

Barbarouses is back in Melbourne after playing 71 minutes in New Zealand's 2-1 friendly loss away to Japan on Friday night, while Troisi and Milligan will be involved in the second leg of the Socceroos' World Cup playoff tie against Syria in Sydney tomorrow night.

Argentine recruit Matias Sanchez is also a chance to make his A-League debut after missing the Sydney game with hamstring soreness.

Williams said there were "a lot of positives” to take out of the game against the Sky Blues, despite the result, adding that his first Melbourne derby experience is also a great opportunity for his new club to get itself into the winner's circle for the first time this season.

"What a chance to right the wrongs,” Williams said.

"I thought we were unlucky (against Sydney) but we move along to next week and what better occasion to hopefully start winning.

"I've watched plenty of these games on TV. Obviously we've been getting ready for Round 1 and our attention was on that.

"But now we do look forward to next week. So we'll have a quick review of the game and then we'll turn our attention to the derby.”

Asked how he found his own Victory debut on the weekend, the former Perth Glory stopper said: "I loved it to be honest, the only downside was to concede a goal in the way that we did”.

The 29-year-old appeared to hurt himself in the dying stages of the match, but played out the game.

"I think it was just a bit of cramp in my calf, just from stretching and jumping so much during the game,” he said.

"It's quite a firm pitch, first game of the season, all of that.

"But I feel fine. I'll get myself into the club and have it checked out and I'll be good to go for training on Monday.”

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