Melbourne City coach John van ‘t Schip has lavished praise on Bruno Fornaroli after the Uruguayan’s second-half brace consigned the Mariners to a 3-1 loss on Sunday.
City’s marquee striker was lively throughout in humid conditions at AAMI Park, with his ability to produce a quality performance after also playing a full-game in the FFA Cup mid-week attracting particular praise.
“Bruno is a player with good energy, a good winning mentality and I think in the games you’ve seen up until now he’s always fighting,” said van ’t Schip.
“Sometimes he’s a bit isolated, for example the game against Sydney FC, but he keeps fighting to be there and to be an outlet for the rest of the team when we’re pressured.
“He shows in the box that he’s also important because he scored two goals and one was even cancelled for off-side and his work rate I think is sensational for a striker.”
In terms of their attacking threat City were boosted by the return of forwards David Williams and Corey Gameiro, who both made their first league appearances of the season as second-half substitutes.
The pair had mixed results off the bench, with Williams teeing up Fornaroli for his second goal, while Gameiro was guilty of spurning a couple of clear-cut chances.
Despite playing some minutes, John van ‘t Schip revealed they are both still some way off being considered for the starting side.
“Corey and David are not ready to play (full-games) at this moment,” he said.
“David is not ready to play more than 45 minutes and Corey not even half an hour so we knew that and that was one of the reason to put in those two young players.”
One player that is not likely to feature any time soon is former Socceroos midfielder Erik Paartalu.
The 29-year-old was left off the City teamsheet for a second consecutive match but the City boss scoffed at suggestions he had been dropped for disciplinary reasons.
“Discipline not at all. I think Eric is one of the most committed players that we have,” said van ‘t Schip.
“But we have three things, respect, commitment and performance.
“If the performances are not what I expect they should be or hope what they should be then it’s time to make a change with the player.”