Melbourne City Head Coach Michael Valkanis believes last week’s showcase of his squad’s depth will leave him with hard decisions to make as they prepare to take on Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.
Nine forced changes were made to last week’s side as seven suspended and two injured regulars sat out the 2-2 draw with the third-placed Roar and with six players returning this week, City will look to make the most of the fresh list in New Zealand.
Despite the returns to the squad, Valkanis revealed he’ll have hard decisions to make after the impressive performance.
“There will be some changes made, I haven’t decided,” he said.
“In my head I have two starting XI’s and we’ll work through the next training sessions and I’ll confirm before the game which way we go.
“It’s about finding the right balance for what we want for this game and the right personnel to balance it. We’ve spoken about it and discussed two different scenarios and we’ll check that out at training.
“It gives us a lot more options than last week, with the availability of players. A lot more options.”
Two players who won’t be a part of Saturday’s clash will be Ivan Franjic and Michael Jakobsen with the long trip to New Zealand playing into the mind of Valkanis’ squad selection but the impressive showing of his side last week gives the Head Coach full confidence coming into the contest.
“Going into finals that’s what we’re preparing for, to be able to have that little bit of flexibility and be able to adapt in certain situations and Saturday showed that,” he said.
“More so the ball is the most important for us and we want to dominate the game as much as we can and create as many goal-scoring opportunities.
“The boys executed the game plan for Brisbane Roar, with the personnel we had, really well.
“[Wellington] have got Shane Smeltz who’s capable of scoring goals out of nothing. They’ve got [Kosta] Barbarouses and [Roy] Krishna up front; very quick, very direct and very good wingers who can score as well.
“We’ll analyse their weaknesses and strengths, but most of the focus goes on how we’re going to play and what we’re going to do for this game.
“We’re happy with what we’ve done this week and we’ll prepare the team to go over there for the three points.
City take on the Phoenix on Saturday night, kick-off 5.35pm with the match live on Fox Sports 505. Our next home match is a blockbuster clash with Sydney FC at AAMI Park on Friday 24 February, kick-off 7.50pm. Secure your place at the match below!