John van’t Schip says positive results and the return of injured players to the squad has Melbourne City primed for an important surge up the Hyundai A-League ladder over the festive period.
With a commanding win over Perth and the return of key figures to the side, the Dutchman believes December’s run could set his side in the right direction if they are able to field a consistent side on the park.
City has not won a match on the Central Coast and the van 't Schip believes there is no better time to do it.
“I think that win (on the Central Coast) is coming closer and closer,” he said.
“I think for us, it’s important to win the game to climb the ladder so we’re going out there to win the game, that’s our approach.
“We know their game style and they’re not going to change it. They’re going to be aggressive and play a lot of one on one and creating opportunities so we have to be ready for that.
“Even in the last game we played the Central Coast, it was very open when we played them.
“The play was up and down and (there were) a lot of transitions, opportunities and shots and they had chances as well so it wasn't as easy as the scoreline says.
"We have to approach this game and work on our defensive shape to make sure we are more solid. Going forward we have shown we can score goals but we need to improve defensively and be more solid as a defensive unit.”
City were also dealt a blow this week with the news of Corey Gameiro rupturing his ACL for the second time in two seasons and van’t Schip says Gameiro will be in the forefront of their minds when they hit the pitch this Thursday.
“We’re all devastated.” he said.
“We’re all close to Corey because we’ve seen the work he has put in and during that work, he had his up and downs and was frustrated but that’s normal.
“Anyone that is close to Corey knows he’s a very emotional player, he says what he thinks and he was happy to be on the pitch to start playing again. Hopefully we can send out a message to Corey by giving him a good result.”