van’t Schip says Al Jazira test will keep standards high

Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip felt the mid-season training camp and matches against foreign opposition will keep his side’s standards high coming into the second half of the Hyundai A-League season.

The Dutchman saw his side go down to United Arab Emirates equal league leaders Al Jazira 2-0 on Sunday (Monday morning Melbourne time) and was positive about their first 45 minutes.

“I think we played a decent game first half,” Van’t Schip said.

“We had decent chances and played good football but in the second half we dropped off a level and they gained a level so the result was 2-0,

“It was a good experience to come here and play. Of course the result was not what we wanted but we have to look at the game, a lot of players played 90 minutes and that’s what we are here for, to keep our rhythm.”

van’t Schip’s side are two days into their Abu Dhabi training camp and the Head Coach admitted that his players were still acclimatising to their surroundings.

“We have only been here two days and we always knew it was going to be hard with the jetlag,” van’t Schip said.

“You could see in the second half that the quality of Al Jazira was high and we dropped a level physicaly with the trip but I was happy with the performance and the players that played 90 minutes.”

Melbourne City FC will regroup and prepare for their second friendly match in Abu Dhabi, continuing their training regime at New York University in the UAE’s capital but van’t Schip still has his focus on the February 1 encounter with the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park.

“We are halfway through the season and mid-table so we have to continue to get points to ensure we are the finals time,” van't Schip said.

“This camp is going to be useful to keep our standards high and play quality opposition in Al Jazira so we go back and play the Wanderers on the 1st of February, so that’s going to be a very important game.”