City Head Coach John van’t Schip believes Thursday’s clash against Newcastle Jets will be the perfect test for his side as they look to bounce back from last week’s loss.
Melbourne City went down to Brisbane Roar last week in a disappointing night at Suncorp Stadium and have spent the week working on solutions to Friday night’s deficiencies.
The Roar’s tight defensive structure resulted in City mustering up only one shot on goal and the Head Coach admits that they have been working on the training ground this week to unlock the defensive stronghold they will expect to see this season.
“We analysed the game against Brisbane and we know exactly where we didn’t things right,” van’t Schip said.
“I was very pleased with the pressure we brought. If you look at playing in Brisbane, we were actually playing them to their backs to the wall on goal and we are disappointed we couldn’t create enough chances.
“We’ll have to work on that and how to penetrate and how to be a bit more opportunistic because you can’t walk the ball into the goals. Sometimes you have to cross the ball into the box, we’ve got Timmy [Cahill], we’ve got Bruno [Fornaroli] to mix it up and in the meantime, make sure we are positioned well for when we lose the ball to win it back quickly.
“Those are things we have been doing well and we have to improve playing in the final third, that’s something we all know.”
van’t Schip and City will have the opportunity to put this into practice on Thursday nights against Newcastle and the Dutchman is expecting similar tactics from the Jets as they look to hit on the counter.
“I think Newcastle will do the same, they will defend also because of the way we want to play. They will be forced to defend or maybe they will want to press us, we’ll see,” he said.
“If not, we have to make sure we move the ball quickly, try to mix it up and have more threat with the ball into certain areas.
“Newcastle has had a good start. They lost the last game but they looked competitive in the start. They had a good win against Brisbane but now it’s up to us playing at home.
“We already lost against Perth and we know we have to make sure that when we are at home, we win as many games as we can because that’s our goal, to win as much games as possible. Tomorrow will be a good test.”
Melbourne City face Newcastle Jets this Thursday night at AAMI Park, kick-off 7.50pm. Click here to secure tickets for the match or sign up today as a Melbourne City member!