REACTION: Villa on track to start


John van’t Schip has indicated that David Villa may start for Melbourne City FC on Sunday as the Club challenges Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park.

Villa, who made his debut for the Club off the bench against Sydney FC last Saturday – and made an impact within 15 minutes of his introduction – was left out of the starting line-up in his first appearance for Melbourne City FC. 

But Villa’s class was evident after he provided a second-half equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Allianz Stadium. Following an additional week of preparation, van’t Schip appeared confident he could feature Villa from the first whistle.

“Normally, David is going to start, he had a good week,” van’t Schip said.

“We all know why he didn’t start from the start last week so [we’re] looking at this week.”

Although the focus is on the Spanish World Cup winner, van’t Schip has emphasised that the priority remains on the team’s performance as a whole and Villa remains like any other player in the squad.

“I understand everyone wants to talk about David but it’s about the team and I think that’s the big thing with him coming in,” van’t Schip said.

“He’s integrated very well and hopefully now with David in from the start, and from now on, he is just one of the team, [like] he was the from the beginning.”

The Newcastle Jets are the primary focus for van’t Schip this week as his side prepares for its historic first home match. The Novocastrians went down in a tight F3 Derby with the Mariners last week and van’t Schip will be wary of what the Jets have to offer.

“It’s going to be an interesting game, a tough game,” van’t Schip said.

“[We] know that Newcastle always has a way of playing that is aggressive, is physical and we have to be prepared for that.”

David Williams and Jason Hoffman have returned to the squad for the Round 2 clash and could also feature. 

“[David] trained all week so he is back in my mind for selection. Today and tomorrow we’ll make a decision if he is in the squad.”

Match Details

Hyundai A-League Round 2

Sunday 19 October 2014

Melbourne City FC vs. Newcastle Jets

AAMI Park, Melbourne 

Kick-off: 3pm

Membership information: Memberships and membership pickups will be available at the marquee at AAMI Park on match day on Olympic Boulevard and tickets are available via Ticketek.