Melbourne City Head Coach John van’t Schip says the potential for his side to move to top spot is in their hands as they prepare for Friday’s top of the table clash against Western Sydney.
City find themselves in the highest league position after 17 rounds and with a win, the Club will be outright top at the end of the round, but the Dutchman believes the short turnaround won’t affect his side.
“We are happy to be playing again,” van’t Schip said.
“We are in a good vibe from the last game and the boys have recovered well. We are heading in with the same squad up to Sydney.
“We prepare for the game as we always do, the only difference is that it is a short turnaround. We have played Monday, now Friday so the week is different, it is more about recovery and getting the players ready for the game."
“It is number two against the number one. For us it’s great to be in that position. It’s what we work for and now it’s up to us again to show we can deliver a good game away from home against the current table leader.”
This week’s test will see City pitted against the league’s best side at the league’s most hostile environment and the Head Coach believes it will be the perfect test for his side if they are to make a serious tilt towards the Hyundai A-League Premiers Plate and Championship.
“They’re a good team. We played against them two times, the first game we got played off the park and the second it was a really good contest between two teams that are equal…but in the end we got the win,” he said.
“The ambience of the ground where we are playing is always electric, the people are on top, so it’s also the atmosphere that we need to prepare for. All those things makes it interesting for us to play this game.
“In all the other aspects it is a game, it’s still three points. There are still 11 games to go in the league. Win, lose or draw, it doesn’t mean that after this game things are going to be change.
“We’ve got players that are used to those situations, so I think you should enjoy those places and go out there and it is something that lifts your performance, so it is something we will see tomorrow.”
Van’t Schip confirmed the return of Jack Clisby to the side after serving his week suspension and said the tactical flexibility in the side has caused good headaches at the selection table.
“We’ve adjusted at a certain moment to the players that we have and the moment that occurred in the game against Sydney,” he said.
“From there on we moved on with trying to improve that and I think we are improving in that way of playing and knowing we can play the other way as well. Looking at the players we have available and suspended or injured, we will come up with a way of playing (on Friday).
“We still have to improve a lot, work hard and we are doing good things on and off the pitch. It is also about momentum. We have to be aware of that, keep on working hard and being humble, knowing that Western Sydney are top of the table for a good reason.”
City face the Wanderers on Friday night in Parramatta, kick-off 7:40pm. Don’t miss the match on Fox Sports 505 and SBS from 7:30pm or follow our live updates on Twitter at @MelbourneCity.