‘We showed how we can play’: Wales rapt as City steady the ship
There was a lot of pressure on Melbourne City heading into Sunday night’s home clash with the Newcastle Jets.
Having been comfortably beaten by Brisbane Roar last weekend and with the uncertainty around the future of marquee man Bruno Fornaroli, the heat was seriously on Warren Joyce and his players.
Criticised for their inconsistent results and style of play, the City simply had to produce or face another week of intense scrutiny.
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But the boys in sky blue responded in impressive fashion, blowing Newcastle Jets away with a commanding 3-0 win at AAMI Park.
“We’re not listening to any of the talk,” youngster Lachlan Wales told Fox Sports post-match.
“You’ve seen how close the comp is this year, anyone can beat anyone and two wins will get you right up there.
“We have massive belief in the group and all the staff and we just went out there and showed how we can play.”
It was certainly a more enterprising display from City than what we’ve seen in the opening five rounds.
There was still the incisive passing and ability to maintain possession, but they went forward quicker and – at times – were more direct.
“That was the message during the week, we need to be more positive in the front third,” Wales conceded.
“We have been a bit passive at times in that front area.
“Tonight the goals came and we were more dynamic in that area.”
And they were pretty impressive goals too.
Former Jet Riley McGree started the carnage with a blistering strike inside two minutes before Luke Brattan put his nomination down for the goal of the season with a vicious volley on the stroke of half-time.
Wales, playing the central striking role in favour of Fornaroli, then put the result beyond doubt 15 minutes from the end with his first Hyundai A-League goal.
“It’s good to get off the mark. I have to thank Ritchie [De Laet], it was a good ball. But it was about time I put one away,” the youngster said.
“I’ve had a few chances and the boys have been given it to me at training, so it’s just nice to put one in.
“Those ones where you don’t have much time to think are the easy ones. I just flicked at it and it went in thankfully.”