Melbourne City Head Coach John van’t Schip believes his side showed all the qualities he asked from his side as they opened the season with three points against Wellington.
It was almost a tale of two halves for his side as an almost unplayable City in the first half had to change their tune in the second after the send-off of goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.
The mercurial first half performance impressed the Dutchman, who said he’ll be expecting more of that from his side during the season, but was even more pleased with the backs-to-the-wall performance of to grind out the result in the second period.
“You saw a side of the team that was fighting, working incredibly hard for each other so I’m very happy with the result and also with the character and team spirit,” van’t Schip said.
“I think first half we played some good football and created some chances. We went up deservedly and could have gone up 2 or 3 nil. In the second half we needed to play a bit different.
“Second half, we showed another side and those boys that you mentioned, many of which are new, showed immediately the side that we want (to be) this year and that’s fighting, being a team and of course playing good football.”
The resulting send-off of Sorensen saw the introduction of Dean Bouzanis for his second appearance at the Club, ironically both against Wellington at Westpac Stadium, and the ‘keeper stood up to the occasion, thwarting a string of chances.
His introduction to the game didn’t phase van’t Schip, who said his squad depth this season was not only at the top end of the pitch, but at the back as well as Bouzanis prepares for his first Melbourne Derby due to Sorensen’s one-match suspension.
“We have full confidence in Dean and he showed immediately his qualities,” he said.
“We’re not bothered about (playing him in the Melbourne Derby), it’s an opportunity for him for him to start.”
It’s the Melbourne Derby up next for City as they take on Victory on Saturday 15 October at Etihad Stadium. Kick-off 7.50pm.