Despite celebrating his birthday on Friday, there is only one birthday present Head Coach John van’t Schip is looking for and that’s three points against the Mariners on Saturday.*/
City come into the contest off a pulsating 3-3 draw with Perth Glory on Tuesday night and with both sides experiencing a short turnaround from their respective Round 12 encounters, the Dutchman believes his side will have the upper hand coming into the clash.
“We all know that the recovery is not most optimal for both teams and for them, even one day less and that has to be an advantage for us but it all comes back to the way that we play,” van’t Schip said.
“If we play the way that we can play, we can make them run more but they have shown they are a team that play possession-based football.
“In the stats, they are one of the highest in keeping the ball and playing the ball around and they do that quite well and they let opponents run as well but we have to try to avoid that and control the game by having the ball and making sure that when we have to defend.”
The defensive aspect is what let City down against Perth on Tuesday, with the home side leading three times before being pegged back on all three occasions, but van’t Schip was confident that this week’s post-mortem highlighted the need to improve.
“We focused on our own structure,” he said.
“We had a good talk and looked at the things that we have to improve on and also looked at the things we did well because we created a lot of entries into the box, we created a lot of attacking football and possibilities to score.
“We also did things that we didn’t do well and we have to do better. We’ve been doing that, but again it’s something we have to sharpen up and make sure that we improve on that.”
Speaking to the media on Friday, van’t Schip revealed defender Michael Jakobsen would hopefully be a week away from a return after progressing well with his calf injury, while also revealing his new year’s resolution.
“My new year’s resolution is, of course, I would love to win [the league].” he said.
“We’re not even half way in the league and know that anything can happen. We also understand that we have to start gaining points.
“I’ve said it from the beginning, we have a very strong squad, we’re got a good group of players and I’m confident in the end we will be there and we’re not satisfied with less than silverware.
“It’s not going to be easy because there are a few teams out there that are performing really good and we just have to make sure that we make the next step and close the gaps then make sure that when we have to play for the prizes we are ready for it.”
City take on the Mariners on Saturday night at the earlier kick-off time of 7pm. Catch all the action live on Fox Sports 505.