VIDMAR: The next month is crucial

Melbourne City FC Men’s Head Coach, Aurelio Vidmar, has emphasised the importance of the upcoming month as City face a string of crucial fixtures.

City take on fourth placed Macarthur FC this Friday night, before returning to AAMI Park to face the league leaders, Wellington Phoenix.

“It is a challenging month, it’s certainly been a challenging season,” Vidmar said. “The next month is certainly going to be crucial in terms of where we’re going to fit on the ladder.”

“This game is certainly a big game for us, we really need to get our skates on with eight or nine games left.”

Vidmar’s side will be bolstered by the return of star midfielder Tolgay Arslan.

“I think he’ll [Tolgay] contribute a lot, he’s worked pretty hard in the two and a half weeks that he’s spent away from the playing group,” Vidmar said.

“He’s trained with us, but he’s also done a hell of a lot of extra work apart from actually playing the game, which you can never replicate but we’ve loaded him up pretty well in that aspect so yeah he’ll go as long as he can.

“It’ll be a nice welcome to have him back. I think everyone knows what he can give to the team, especially going forward so we’re looking forward to having him back.”

Arslan’s return means there will be an increased competition for places as a number of key players have returned in recent weeks.

“When everyone’s fit it’s extremely difficult isn’t it [to pick the side], we’ve already spoken about there’s going to be times where we share the load and they have to accept it,” he explained.

“No one’s ever happy when they’re sitting on the bench or not playing but it’s all part of what team dynamics are all about. Everyone has a role to play, and everyone has a big part to play whether it’s 100 hundred minutes or 20 minutes.”

Vidmar provided an injury update ahead of Friday night’s clash, including a big blow to a youngster.

“Scott Galloway should be back running by next week, so we’re probably looking at a couple of weeks for him,” he said.

“The other one is young Benny Mazzeo, he’s probably going to have an operation on an ankle syndesmosis that he copped in a pretty nasty tackle and kick in the NPL game on the weekend, so he’ll more than likely miss the rest of the season now.”

City take on Macarthur FC on Friday 1 March, kick-off 7:45pm, before returning to AAMI Park to host the ‘Nix on Saturday 9 March, kick-off 5:30pm. Click here to purchase your tickets!