Melbourne City boss John van ‘t Schip was happy with his side’s draw with Western Sydney Wanderers and believes the point could be crucial in the race for the finals.
City was below their best but fought for everything, coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at a wet Pirtek Stadium on Friday night.
“It was a tough game. The last time we were here we were leading twice and lost, now we came from behind and fought hard for this point,” van ‘t Schip said.
“It’s not too much about how we played, it’s about the character and fighting and a little bit of luck sometimes.
“On other hand we had some chances on the break but the last pass was off. If we were a bit sharper we could have even stolen the win but I think we should be happy with the point.”
The result moves City six points clear of Brisbane with three games to go in the battle for the last spot in the finals, although Roar have a game in hand.
“We can only look at ourselves. We know we have to gain as much as possible points and then in the end we will see,” the City boss said.
“You can’t start calculating and until the end it’s going to be a race. We have Wellington, Perth and Adelaide in our last three games and we know it’s going to be tough.”
While it’s a tricky run in for City, they have shown over the last month they are made of stern stuff and in strong form, picking up 10 points out of a possible 12.
“We’re showing we’re a team that can also fight and get back into a gamer after going behind. In this period of the season that’s very important,” he said.
“That’s something that really adds something to this team. The next step is we have to get our way of playing more into what we want.”
After going behind to Yojiro Takahagi’s free-kick, City got back into the contest just before the break thanks to a piece of magic from Harry Novillo.
The dynamic winger hit a thunderbolt from 25 yards which skimmed the crossbar on its way into the net.
“He showed he can make something happen and that why we got him in,” van ‘t Schip said of the Frenchman.
“We knew he had these qualities. He’s very direct. In that he’ll make wrong decisions too but he’s unpredictable and he can score a goal like he did tonight or set up something.
“He’s someone who can change a game and today he did it for us. He got us the equalizer which was very important.”