van’t Schip: There’s still a long way to go

Melbourne City were unable to make it three Melbourne Derby wins from three on Saturday night as they went down to Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park but Head Coach John van’t Schip says the skies the limit for his side who he feels will improve with time.

City sit in third after the Derby loss on Saturday and with just under two thirds of the season left to play, a Westfield FFA Cup trophy and plenty of room to take their game to the next level in a side that has 11 new players from last season, the Dutchman believes his side will excel with time.

“There’s still a long way to go. We’ve had a few tough weeks behind us with a few big games but this one in the end was one too much,” van’t Schip said.

“I think we’re in a good place. You want to win every game but if you look at what we’ve done in the last 6 months, I think we’ve showed a way of playing that everybody is talking about. We’re happy that we have a real identity of how we are playing and that’s something that we want to improve and work on.

“We’ve had 11 new players come in and in tonight’s line up, we had eight new players compared to last season. More than a half of the season still has to be played and we have a cup, we have some young players coming into the team, I think they are all positive signs.

“We can talk about things that are not going well and the result was not what we wanted tonight but if we look at the way that we are playing, improving and where we want to go to, I think we are on the right path.

The loss is City’s first in the past five Melbourne Derbies, recording three wins and a draw before Saturday’s result.

It’s been a busy period that has seen City play league leaders Sydney twice, including both teams above and below them in Brisbane and Victory and van’t Schip feels the ten day break to the next match against Perth will prove vital in their run after the new year.

The match also saw the impressive Derby debut of defender Ruon Tongyik, who played his second game for the Club and the Head Coach was proud of the 19-year-old’s efforts against one of the most intimidating challenges in the game.

“He was one of the players that kept on playing and wanting to play the balls in between and knowing he played up against a player like Berisha, I think he handled it well,” he said.

“Every defender will have his problem against players like that but he showed character, he showed quality so we’re very happy with his performance.

“Ruon is showing very good things in the last few months that we’ve had him in. He played a good game last week. It wasn’t easy to play in the situation last week and again today without Michael Jakobsen, I think he did that in a very good way.

City will now take a short period off training to rest up and begin their preparations to take on Perth Glory in an important clash on Tuesday 27 December. Click here to secure your tickets to our double header with our Westfield W-League side at AAMI Park. Kick-off 7.50 pm for the men’s, 5pm for the women’s.