Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip admitted two goals from Melbourne Victory either side of the half-time break were the “game changer” in Saturday night’s 5-2 loss in the Melbourne Derby.
After a promising first-half display in which Melbourne City FC deservedly took the lead twice through two improvised set-pieces, van’t Schip said his side didn’t recover from a Besart Berisha brace as the Victory striker stuck late in the first half and 20 seconds after the restart.
Berisha claimed a third, and Victory’s fifth, later in the match after the home side took control, but it was the two goals from the former Brisbane Roar striker either side of the break which hurt Melbourne City FC most.
“The 3-2 [scoreline], the boys didn't recover from that and that's something that we should analyse and talk about because you have to be mentally strong," van’t Schip said.
"You have to be concentrated and know what you're doing.
"After the half time break we were just not there... and Victory deserved the win.”
van’t Schip said that his side had suffered the same lack of intensity in its previous two encounters and would address his side’s second-half performances.
"In the first half we showed again that we can play good but it's 90 minutes a game.
"We should analyse why... we played three good first halves, the second halves are a big part of a game.
"More important because in the second half, games get decided. It’s something we must improve.
"We've got Ben Garuccio, we've got Connor Chapman and we've got (Jonatan) Germano, they were all injured and they're all actually back now.
"They're going to play (Sunday) their first game in the youth team.
"With those three coming back gives us more depth and we can start looking at other options maybe."