'We know it’s a big one' - De Laet eyes 'six-pointer' to close the gap on leaders Glory
Defender-turned-forward Ritchie De Laet has called Saturday's free-to-air clash 'a six-pointer' as Melbourne City seek to close the gap on Hyundai A-League leaders Perth Glory.
The blockbuster game, which will be broadcast live and free on 10 Bold, sees Glory travel to a Melbourne City side reeling from their 2-1 loss to the previously winless Central Coast Mariners.
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Tony Popovic’s side may be nine points ahead of City, but an upset would put Warren Joyce’s side well in the mix for the Premiership alongside Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.
De Laet insisted City’s eyes were fixed firmly on the title, but progress was a weekly proposition.
“You could say it’s a six-pointer, really. If you can beat them then you close the gap,” De Laet told a-league.com.au.
“We want to be there at the end, like we said before the season started we want to play for silverware and that hasn’t changed.
“We’re just going to keep it game by game, next one’s Perth — we know it’s a big one.”
The Belgian stressed that City wouldn’t be overawed facing an in-form Glory outfit, revealing they would look to take the game to the visitors.
“Obviously there’s a plan in place for every time we play someone different, which we have to do because not every team sets up the same way,” he said.
“Other teams have other weaknesses so we have a game plan, we look where we can hurt them and we look at ourselves as well.
“They’re a good team, a good, balanced team. They know what they’re doing, [their players] know what their jobs are individually and collectively, as well. We’ll be at home so it’s up to us to break them down.”
A defender by trade, De Laet had been additionally used as a winger prior to last week’s match-up against the Roar where he was pushed even further forward to fill the No.9 void City have found themselves with.
The former Manchester United player is taking it in his stride however and is confident of back-up from his teammates.
“It’s been same old, really. I’ve played there before, it’s nothing new,” De Laet said.
“I know it’s not my natural position, but I kind of know what I’m doing up there and I’ve got the boys in behind me as well who are helping me out.”