van’t Schip relishing the opportunity to match it with the best

Melbourne City FC face three of the top four sides in the upcoming month and Head Coach John van’t Schip said that if his side are to prove themselves this season, they will have to match it with the best.

van’t Schip’s first task is to undo the surprise packet of the season, Wellington Phoenix and the Dutchman expressed the need for his side to knuckle down and perform to their full potential.

“Every game is important, and this game is important again in where we want to go and that’s getting into the finals,” van’t Schip said.

“We have a run of teams that are above us on the table, so it’s a massive task but it’s also good because if we want to have something to say (in the league), we have to play those teams and get results against them.

“Wellington is the first one we have to get a result and we are going there to prove we can match it with the best in the league.”

After last week’s below par performance against Victory, the Head Coach believes the result will give his side a timely wake-up call, saying his team needs to focus on the important task at hand.

“It’s another game we have to prepare well because if we don’t show up, then every game is going to be a struggle,” van’t Schip said.

“It has already shown that there are no easy games in this league and as a team, we may seem more connected than what we did at the start but still, there are a lot of things we have to improve to show the next steps and be more consistent.”

van’t Schip also confirmed that Erik Paartalu will miss another week with the injury he picked up against the Wanderers, but Tando Velaphi is close to full fitness as he looks to travel with the squad to Wellington on Friday.

The Dutchman also said that Australian marquee Josh Kennedy is progressing well, with the striker on track for more game time in the coming weeks.

“Josh pulled up well, he is getting stronger every day and now it's just trying to get him playing more and more games,” van’t Schip said.

"We will manage that in a good way and of course, it’s also important that he starts getting more involved and playing more minutes so we have to build that up.”

Melbourne City FC face the Wellington Phoenix this Saturday, kick-off 3pm Melbourne time (AEDT) 5pm local. Catch the match on Fox Sports 4 (Ch 505) from 2:30pm.