Head Coach John van’t Schip said he was pleased with the Club’s second pre-season hit-out in the UK.
Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip said he was pleased with the Club’s second pre-season hit-out in the UK against Oldham Athletic.
In the Club’s second pre-season friendly of the tour at Oldham’s SportsDirect.com Park, van’t Schip’s Melbourne City FC took the lead against the English Football League One opponent through a David Williams strike, but were pegged back by a late equaliser from the Latics.
Van’t Schip said he was pleased with the performance and the direction that the team was heading in after a week of training and two pre-season matches in the greater Manchester region.
“It was a very good game again for us to see where we are and playing Oldham, who are a level higher than Bury, who we played against last game,” van’t Schip said.
“I think the first half we played good football; we had some good movement and kept the ball, controlled the game and maybe in the end [in the second half] we had a lack of precise passing.
"But the build up and the way we played was very encouraging."
With a squad including trailists and last season's National Youth League regulars such as Ross Archibald and Paulo Retre, van't Schip made five changes at the break, which produced Williams' opener but disrupted the flow of the match slightly in the second stanza.
“The second half we struggled a bit more because some players playing 90 minutes and some traillists that are not in the same condition as the players we have at the moment," van't Schip said.
“They [Oldham] forced us back a bit, but in the end it was a very good game for us to see how things may work out and of course the pitch and the weather was very good.”
Van’t Schip said there were similarities between the match against Bury and Saturday’s match against Oldham.
“We controlled also that game until about the hour mark and then we were forced back more against Bury and against Oldham," van't Schip said.
Van’t Schip said one of the main focuses of the pre-season matches was to retain possession, but the goal against Oldham had come after some swift work in attack from second-half substitutes Mate Dugandzic and Williams.
“That [counter-attacking] is something we have in our game as well,” van’t Schip said.
“We want to play a possession game, but we know also on the break we can be dangerous with Mate, with Williams, with [Damien] Duff, with James Brown - so we have a lot of speed up front and it worked out in the second half that we scored a goal through David.
"The two games we have played have been very helpful to see where we are at [in pre-season] and where the areas are we still need to work on and from there we have the next game coming up on Wednesday against Bolton [Wanderers] which is again going to be a level higher."