VIDMAR: We’re ready to embrace the challenge

Melbourne City return to action following the November international window when the team travel across the ditch to take on Wellington Phoenix on Saturday afternoon.

The international break came at a good time for Head Coach, Aurelio Vidmar, who took the reins during a busy period of fixtures.

“We’re missing four [players], two with the Olyroos and two with the national team obviously, but it’s been good to have a nice little block of training with them [the team],” Vidmar said.

“Unfortunately, in that time, we lost Nuno [Reis], he’s got a slight muscle quad lateral issue but not too far away, probably a 10-day thing and young Zane Schreiber unfortunately had a training incident on a slide tackle on Saturday which he’s slightly strained his MCL.

“It’ll be a couple of weeks but nothing major just a bit of a pain for those two boys,” he added.

In what’s been a huge boost for City, the break in fixtures has seen star duo Mathew Leckie and Tolgay Arslan return to training.

“[It’s] really positive we’ve had both [Mathew] Leckie and Tolgay [Arslan] on the track training this week which is great,” Vidmar said.

“All in all pretty good, we’ve had a nice week, done a fair bit [of work], so nice progression.”

Saturday’s clash with the ‘Nix is the beginning of another tough stretch of fixtures which will see City play three consecutive games in three different countries.

With the bulk of the squad flying from Melbourne to Auckland, Olyroos, Patrick Beach and Callum Talbot and Socceroos, Jamie Maclaren and Aziz Behich, will make their way to New Zealand following their respective international fixtures in the Middle East.

“It’s certainly a challenge, we’ve spoken about that during the week, it’s not going to be like the classic being at home, no travel and sleeping in your own bed,” Vidmar reflected. “It’s going to be a challenge but one we’re going to embrace; we’ve put ourselves in this position and I wouldn’t want it any other way and the players don’t want it any other way.”

“We’ll manage it game by game to be honest. We had a really decent training block last week on the pitch and off the pitch so that should put us in good stead for this upcoming three weeks.”