City have a long way to go: JVS


Melbourne City FC coach John van ‘t Schip says Sunday’s surprise loss to Central Coast Mariners proves his side has lots to improve on during the Asian Cup break.

City’s four-game unbeaten run came to an end as they were out-done by a desperate Mariners outfit 2-0 at Central Coast Stadium.

It’s a less than ideal way to go into their four-week hiatus from the Hyundai A-League but the Dutchman believes it’s a wake-up call that must heed before returning to action next month.

“We have to work on a lot of things. We have to know that we’re good if we’re compact and if we fight for the right to play and today that was not good enough,” van ‘t Schip said.

“If we don’t do those things then we’re an average team.

“But if we fight, are compact and we want to go for every ball then we have enough quality. We have quality up front to make goals, quality in midfield to serve and to battle and we have quality at the back to defend.

“There are things to improve and we’ll work hard to make sure we’re on a good level at the restart.”

Van ‘t Schip will take his squad to a training camp in Abu Dhabi during the break and will also have Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy at his disposal for the clash with the Wanderers on February 1.

By then he’ll hope to have this game well and truly out of their system.

City were blown away in the first half an hour, with two goals to Mitchell Duke sending the home side on their way to a first win in 12 matches.

“We were sloppy at the back, especially the first goal it was very easy. If you come behind 2-0 then it’s difficult,” the City boss said.

“We had the same last week (against Newcastle) but the other way around.

“The moments that we could have come back in the game we couldn’t finish the chances off. Overall there were too many players not reaching the level that we need to play a game and that’s disappointing.

“We have to move forward, use the break in a good way and make sure we’re strong for the second part (of the season).”

Compounding the loss for City was the second half dismissal of goal-keeper Tando Velaphi.

The gloveman came flying out of his box to try and shutdown Duke but mis-timed his challenge, with van ‘t Schip admitting referee Peter Green had no option but to show Velaphi a red card.