Head Coach John van’t Schip says the overwhelming emotion ahead of Melbourne City’s first home final against Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Sunday is one of excitement.
The Elimination Final looms as a test for the Club against one of the Hyundai A-League’s form sides in the second half of the 2015/16 campaign, but when asked in his official pre-match press conference van’t Schip said he was excited about the challenge.
“Yes of course [we’re excited]; I think it is something we have looked forward to all week,” van’t Schip said.
“Of course we didn’t know what would happen [with the final positions on the A-League ladder] and now since we found out we would be playing at home we have been preparing and we have had a good week of training, and now we want to play.”
The match, on Sunday 17 April, kick off 5pm, will be Melbourne City’s first Finals match at home, with away matches against Perth, Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory being the other Finals Series matches the Club has competed in, away from home.
“Every playoff game is big and this is the biggest game – last year Wellington away was the big game,” van’t Schip said.
“Now it’s Perth at home, it’s a big game. But if you win this one, the next one is going to be a big game so that’s how it works.”
Perth travel to Melbourne having recently defeated City 3-2 at nib Stadium in the West; a result and performance that van’t Schip believes may help his side prepare this time around.
“It’s either a good thing or a bad thing that we played them two weeks ago; we know their strengths and their weaknesses and we’ve talked about, we’ve worked on and also looking a lot at our own way of playing, because I think that is the most important thing.
“We have analysed them, we have learned, hopefully, from the last game.
“We also know of course that every game is different, but we have to approach this match in a different way as we did the last game.
“They were on top of us and clearly [wanted to pressure us] and that is the battle you have to try to win.
“It’s imposing your game style against each other and we want to, at home, play our game and know that they’re going to try to get us to play the way they want.
“We have to be consistent in the things we have worked on this week and we have to go out and play.
“It’s a difference because it is our home ground; we have a good record here, we have the support of our fans.
“[Perth will] travel, so they are the kinds of things that normally are an advantage, but when you go out there on the pitch it’s 11 against 11.
“But you have to perform, you have to go out there and do your job.
“We have all of our strengths and all of our weak points and it’s up to us now that we profit from our strong points and punish their weak points and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”