City Head Coach John van’t Schip says history is far from his side’s mind as they prepare for one of the toughest away trips in the Hyundai A-League on Sunday.
City’s record at nib Stadium has been patchy to say the least but after a season where van’t Schip’s side have knocked off record after record, the Dutchman believes that past results mean nothing with the style of football his side have brought to the competition.
“History doesn’t count, it’s about the present,” van’t Schip said.
“This team is different from last year, from the years before and it’s different from the last game we played there so we just have to take it as the game comes. We’re preparing in the best possible way and it’s a finals kind of game we both need to win.
“We know what we have here at the moment and we know that we’re going to play a tough game up in Perth but we also have players that know how to deal with that. We have players that have experience in these types of games in the past so that’s something that we are confident about.”
Destiny is now in City’s hands if they are to take out the Minor Premiership and with another tricky fixture at home to Adelaide to wrap up the season, the Head Coach is squarely focused on picking up the three points across the Nularbor, saying his side have built up over the season for moments like this.
“It’s a better feeling than not to have it in your hands,” he said.
“We’re happy we’re in this position but we have to approach the game, play with the game plan and don’t get carried away because it’s still two big games coming up and the first one is Perth.
“From the start, we said we have a strong group. We also knew in the beginning we were going to struggle because there were a lot of injuries. We showed that when everybody is able to play, we have enough depth, we can challenge and compete with all the clubs in the A-League. We proved that, we made some good steps, we’re full of confidence and we have to make the next step.
In what has been dubbed as the match of the round, the two in-form sides of the competition go head to head on Sunday in what will prove to be a critical clash in the formation of the A-League’s top six but van’t Schip is confident his side have prepared enough for the contest.
Socceroos Aaron Mooy and Alex Wilkinson come back into the side but what role they will play in the contest is still a mystery, with the Dutchman playing his cards close to his chest.
“We’ll play the team that we think is the best possible team to win and get the result and we’ll wait until Sunday to see that,” he said.
“Again, that’s a good sign to see the players that came in, Connor and Anthony, did a great job and we just continued from where we left off in the last game before Aaron and Alex left for the national team so that was a good sign.”
City face Perth on Sunday night, kick-off 7.00pm Melbourne time. Our final home match of the season is next Friday night when we take on Adelaide United at AAMI Park, kick-off 7:40pm. Secure your place at the match today!