Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip is confident his side can harness the energy and confidence from their form throughout February as they head towards an important clash with Newcastle Jets on Saturday.
After two disappointing losses to the Central Coast and the Western Sydney, van’t Schip said his side lacked mental toughness under pressure, however the Head Coach is still buoyant from the spells he saw his side take a 2-1 lead over the Wanderers.
“We want to make (forward) steps, the boys want to make steps and everybody is working on those things,” van’t Schip said.
“We’re already analysing those things so we’ll see how we can reinforce that and how we can get stronger,
“There were good patches but it wasn’t good enough for the win. We showed that we could have finished the game off but we didn’t and then…the pressure built up after that,
“We’re still confident, we haven’t made it easier. They (Brisbane), of course, have the advantage now with two games in hand and a point above but we just have to keep believing that we can make the finals and the first step is winning tomorrow.”
van’t Schip also confirmed that Kew Jaliens is likely to move to centre back for the Jets clash with the suspension of Connor Chapman.
However, the return of Josh Kennedy was confirmed by the Head Coach, with the striker likely to start on the weekend with Harry Novillo.
“Because of the short turn around this week, we knew it would be almost impossible for him (Kennedy) to play three games so we decided with the medical staff that he should prepare for the game against Newcastle,” van’t Schip said.
“What Harry (Novillo) showed was very positive. He played his last match in the middle of January and trained with a few teams to see if he could get a new team in February,
“You can see that he lacks a tad of match fitness but what he showed was positive and hopefully he can continue and even get stronger.”
But with the flow of players in and out of the side, van’t Schip is wary his side need to be performing week in, week out if they are to make the finals.
“It’s hard with the changes we have had in the team through injury, through the players we have had in and out,” van’t Schip said.
“I think we need to have more consistency not only in our results of course, but also in the way we play and that’s a goal we have to aim for until the end of the season, to keep on working and focusing on that,
“You’re still in the finals (race) until it’s mathematically impossible and until then, you have to believe these things and tomorrow is another game. We didn’t do well in the last two games and tomorrow we have to make sure that we are on the good side of the result.