Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip said his squad are in a positive frame of mind despite a lengthening injury list, as City continue preparations for its clash against Brisbane Roar on Friday night.
Looking to bounce back from a lacklustre home performance against Western Sydney with a win against the high-flying Roar, City will be without key defenders Patrick Kisnorbo and Aaron Hughes at Suncorp Stadium.
van’t Schip estimated his side will be without both central defenders for at least 2-3 weeks, while left-back Michael Zullo will make a long awaited return to action in the National Youth League side on Sunday.
“We trained well, we have the players in a good headspace for the game, but still it’s a bit uncertain in a few positions where players are not there or are falling away,” van’t Schip said.
“That’s the biggest issue since we started this season and we have to deal with it. Luckily we have players coming back – Ivan Franjic is close to coming back. Michael Zullo is going to play on Sunday with the youth team, so that’s another player coming back.
“We have a few players that are not really getting fit but there are already back like Corey [Gameiro] and Harry [Novillo].
“The other side of that is we are still not going to play with Patrick [Kisnorbo] and Aaron Hughes got injured in the game [against Western Sydney]. Hughes is out for 2-3 weeks. Patrick 2-3 weeks, hopefully quicker."
Despite being unable to name a consistent back four this season, City will be boosted by the return of Socceroos right-back Ivan Franjic, who will be involved in some capacity against Brisbane after completing 60 minutes for the Club’s National Youth League side last weekend.
"Ivan is involved. He played in the youth team last week. He has been training. He will be travelling up with us. It's just now trying to get him in one way or another, see how far he is [able to last] in games,” van’t Schip said.
"He has been out a long time. He played one game in June with the Socceroos, since the Asian Cup he has not played anything.
"Looking at that, hopefully we can get him back very quick, but he has to be managed very carefully. We will have a few players we have to see if they can get to 90 minutes. Ivan is one of them, if he starts or comes in we will decide later on."