Melbourne City coach Michael Valkanis has questioned the media's "disrespect" of the rest of the A-League in frustration at the high expectations put on his team.
Speaking after City lost 2-1 to Newcastle Jets in Coffs Harbour, Valkanis claimed too many people think football is like "a Playstation game".
Valkanis' predecessor John van 't Schip spent the first half of the A-League season embracing the expectations that come with being the only club to sign three marquee players - Bruno Fornaroli, Tim Cahill and Nicolas Colazo.
But with just two wins in nine A-League games since City lifted the FFA Cup in November, Valkanis seemed to be singing a different tune on Friday night.
"We have got a strong squad, but a lot of people seem to disrespect everyone else in the league - that's what I gather with the media," he said, according to AAP.
"Everyone disrespects every other team, that they're not good enough, or they think our team is a Playstation game.
"When I play with my sons the players get a certain rating, and every week they play with that rating.
"We're talking about human beings who put in 100 per cent effort today to try and win the game."
City midfielder Luke Brattan blamed his team's issues in attack for their second loss in three weeks.
The visitors found it tough to break down an organised Jets side and, despite cutting the deficit from the spot in the second half, missed a chance to close the gap on rivals Melbourne Victory ahead of next week's derby.
While their high defensive line was exploited by the speed of Andrew Nabbout, Brattan believes the solutions to City's flaky form can be found further upfield.
"If we're static in the final third then it's easy for teams to defend," he told Fox Sports.
"Hopefully in the final third it will click [against Victory]. I've been saying that for a few weeks now and it's still yet to come.
"With the players we've got in the final third we should be doing better."
Brattan claimed there was no excuse for City's subpar performance given they anticipated the hosts would adopt a counterattacking approach.
"We knew what we were going to come up against," the midfielder said.
"They were going to get us on the counter. They've got a couple of quick wingers and they break with pace.
"We played well in patches but it's still not good enough."