Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold denies Melbourne Victory have the wood over them despite failing to register a win over their bitter rivals in almost two years.
Not only was Saturday's 4-2 grand final rematch defeat their first loss of the season, but more significantly, it also means the Sky Blues haven't defeated their arch nemesis in their past seven clashes.
In fact, Sydney's last win over Melbourne was a 5-0 rout in January, 2014 that included a brace from former marquee Alessandro Del Piero.
That drought looked likely to end in the wet on Saturday when Arnold's men twice took the lead in a bright first half showing. But they were eventually outgunned by a Victory side that re-asserted their standing as the league's defending champions.
Asked if Melbourne now held a mental strangle over his side, Arnold said: "No, not at all. It's for three points.
"Victory have got that form at the moment and things are falling for them. That'll change. It can turn."
Despite suffering their first loss of the season, Arnold was far from a dejected coach post-match.
The former Central Coast manager saw plenty of positives in an outing where they had more shots, more corners, and more crosses than their opposition.
It was the kind of high-tempo, pulsating, desperate performance befitting that of a grand final rematch.
And he gave that message to his players in the dressing room after the game.
"Continue playing like that and you won't lose too many," he told them.
"I thought there was nothing between the two sides. I thought it was a good spectacle. At least the crowd that turned up got a good game of football to watch, plenty of goals.
"And now maybe there'll be no more boring, boring Sydney."
Victory coach Kevin Muscat was diplomatic when asked whether his team held a mental barrier over Sydney.
"How can I answer that? It's not for me to answer. It's probably one for Graham," he said.
Sydney's next match is a trip to Perth next Saturday.