Melbourne City coach John van’t Schip pointed to his squad’s enviable depth as a key factor in Saturday’s round one victory away to Wellington Phoenix.
City commenced their title hunt with a hard-earned 1-0 win at Westpac Stadium courtesy of Anthony Caceres’ classy first-half goal.
The result was made even more impressive due to Thomas Sorensen’s dismissal on the hour, with substitute goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis required to make several important saves.
“We tried to put a squad together that has competition in every position including the goalkeeper position,” van’t Schip said.
“Dean Bouzanis had to come in (to the game) in very difficult circumstances and he showed immediately he’s up to it.
“The competition is there. Anthony (Caceres) was not playing two weeks ago against Western Sydney and now he’s playing.
“Players have to perform in a good way without feeling the pressure that every game is an exam. It’s a good thing to have players that can compete with each other.”
Despite next weekend’s Big Blue looming large, and the expected debut of star signing Tim Cahill, van’t Schip isn’t yet looking too far ahead.
“For now it’s just important we have the three points,” the Dutchman said.
“Derbies are games on their own and we will have a good week to prepare now. We will make sure we get everybody fit and healthy and ready for Saturday.”