It’s one of the biggest weeks in Melbourne City's history but Head Coach John van’t Schip says his side must focus on three points against Wellington on Sunday before it looks ahead to the Westfield FFA Cup Final on Wednesday.
With Brisbane and Perth dropping points in the opening matches of Round 8, City have the chance to cement their second spot in the league with three points over the Phoenix in the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League double header at AAMI Park.
"You can feel that there is something coming,” van’t Schip said.
“Of course that’s normal but we’re focused on what we have to do on Sunday and that’s an important game.
“We try to look at all kind of things but the most important thing is the next game and for us now, Wellington is the next one. We’ll put a team onto the pitch that is the best for this game and when the game is over, we’ll look at the next one.
“We see the league is very close. It’s all coming together in those positions so it’s important we get a good result. We are preparing 100% for Wellington.”
The sides last faced each other in the opening round of the season and the Dutchman is expecting a more dynamic Wellington outfit who will be at full strength with the return of their Kiwi internationals.
“They have good players there like Finkler, Bonnevaccia and McGlinchy and they have some fast players on top like Krishna and Barbarouses so it’s a good team and they have started collecting points after a difficult start. We know we have to be up for that,” he said
“We just have to make sure we play our game. If we play our game, we can avoid them getting the right delivery and we can avoid them get into those [dangerous] positions.”
van’t Schip confirmed Osama Malik will miss out on Sunday’s clash with the Nix with an adductor injury but Dean Bouzanis will be up for selection again this week after overcoming the oblique muscle injury that saw him substituted at half time in last week’s clash against Western Sydney.
The long-awaited return of Nicolas Colazo has the Head Coach excited for what is to come from the Argentine, saying he’ll definitely play a part in this weekend’s contest.
“He’s involved in the squad,” he said.
“He played last week 65 minutes against the Victory youth side. He came out well, played well, he’s been training all week so he’ll be having a part in Sunday. We’ll also decide looking forward for the rest of the week but Sunday for sure he’s going to be in.
“If you play for BOCA in Argentina then that’s says enough. He played more than 100 games for them and on top of that, he’s a very good professional, that’s what we sensed in the months that he’s here now, he’s picked up things very quickly.
“He understands immediately when we want to do something on the pitch or a bit of a change in the team during the game, he picks it up very quickly. He’s an intelligent player and he has other qualities that he adds to the team so we’re happy that he’s back.”
City take on Wellington Phoenix this Sunday in a massive double header at AAMI Park. See the women’s Melbourne Derby at 2.30pm before the men take on the Nix in Round 8 of the A-League. Don’t forget that with every adult ticket and adult membership barcode, you can redeem two FREE junior tickets.
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