City fell 2-0 to Melbourne Victory last night as coach Rado Vidosic has had to tinker with his team with key outs this season.

Tameka Butt made her debut, while Elise Kellond-Knight started at centre-back with the absence of Chelsea Blissett, Steph Catley and Rebekah Stott.

City have won the W-League from fourth in the past two seasons and Jackson was confident they could still hurt teams at full strength.

“Once Steph and Kyah Simon come back from injury, that just adds more quality and it’ll be really exciting to have them back,” the midfielder told The Women’s Game.

“Everyone will be pushing for spots and I think no doubt we’ve got the quality there and we’re capable of achieving great things.

“It’s still early and I know it’s such a short league and the results are going to be everywhere this year, I’ve got a feeling. We’re playing every week like it’s a Grand Final, so next up is Perth Glory. We’ll learn from last night and prepare for that.

“It’s always tough to lose a derby, but there were some positive passages of play and we just couldn’t convert.

“I think once Victory got the lead, they turned defensive and got the ball in transition and capitalised on the second goal which was unfortunate for us.

“Moving forward, it’s such a tough league that every week is a Grand Final and we’re playing to win another championship, so we’re expecting a tough game.”

Jackson lining up against Canberra United in Round 1. By Ben Southall

Jackson also praised Kellond-Knight for showing her versatility playing as a central-defender, left-back and midfielder.

She added she was also showing her leadership qualities despite scoring an own goal against Victory.

“It’s great because she’ll demand quality, but will also help out in terms of direction and instruction,” she said.

“As a six, that’s ideal, so it’s great to have a centre-back that would do that. She’s just a superstar player and person.

“Wherever she plays, she’ll be dangerous. She did well at centre-back, then played as a six and then reverted to left-back. The girls must be exhausted, they’ve come off a hectic week by the sounds of it and hopefully next week they’ll be fully recovered.”