Melbourne City Head Coach John van’t Schip has kept things simple this week, saying his side’s primary goal is to pick up three points on Sunday afternoon against the Central Coast Mariners.
Although City’s last couple of weeks have come without maximum points, the Dutchman is confident his side have what it takes to overcome a Mariners outfit that have overhauled their style after the new year.
“The way they play now, they are harder to beat,” van’t Schip said.
“They are tougher, they’re not that open from the beginning (of the season). They have scored in nearly every A-League game this season so they have (good) qualities.
“They are a lot more of a defensive unit and play on the break with Ferreira and Austin. They have Garcia in who is still a good player and can give them something extra on top with through balls so it's a different energy that they have now as well so we have to be aware of that and go out there and get three points.
“If you're not on top and not prepared, there are no easy games so that’s what we have to be aware of. The pressure is going to be there one way or another and we just have to make sure we are focused and we have the right spirit and attitude.
City were hampered by Newcastle two weeks before and van’t Schip made it clear that the result in the Hunter was a turning point for his squad, admitting that his side's attitude must improve if they are to finish in the top tier of the Hyundai A-League ladder.
“If you're not up to it and not showing the right attitude, you’re going to struggle so that’s the most important thing. Go out there, show the right attitude and team spirit and try to win the game,” he said.
“You always have pressure. There’s pressure in the Derby and tomorrow is going to be pressure because everybody expects us to win but this league has shown that it’s not like that.
“This league is not about where you are on the table. You have to be prepared and play to your abilities.”