Hard work just beginning: Van’t Schip


Melbourne City FC coach John van ‘t Schip played down talk of a possible revival following his team’s much-needed 1-0 win at home to Brisbane Roar.

City responded to a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Wellington Phoenix last weekend by picking up their second victory of the Hyundai A-League season.

The result will go some way to easing the pressure on their under-fire coach, but the Dutchman knows the scrutiny will return quickly if his players fail to build on Sunday’s improved performance.

Asked if the hard-fought triumph at AAMI Park could mark a turning point in City’s season, he said: “It’s too early to say that.”

“Overall it was hard, but a deserved win. We’ve dealt with a few things. We still have to work hard and we still have the same issues.

“It’s about a whole season. We still have two thirds to go. We know that after the break we’ll have Robbie Koren, fully fit, back. We’ll have Josh Kennedy as a striker. And hopefully, maybe, we can have some players growing in the coming weeks that will make another step.”

Kennedy, set to join City as domestic marquee in January, has not played for J-League side Nagoya Grampus since August and is unlikely to be in Ange Postecoglou’s expanded squad for the Socceroos’ Asian Cup campaign, which will be announced on Monday.

“He didn’t play for the last few months, he’s going to be with us training,” Van ‘t Schip said of the veteran striker.

“He’s not fit at the moment. I don’t think that Ange is going to consider him. If he does, well, he will have a reason and then we’ll be happy for Josh. But as we look at it at this moment, I think he will be with us and preparing himself for the second part of the season.”

City now have a break to recharge their batteries and take stock ahead of their next A-League encounter, the derby against Melbourne Victory on December 20.

“We’ve got two weeks to prepare ourselves for the game against Victory,” he said.

“I think we’re going to need it to get the players fresh and to make a good decision of who’s going to play.”