City Head Coach Michael Valkanis has expressed the need for his side to bounce back against Adelaide on Friday night, saying securing a home final is on the top of their agenda.
Valkanis’ side come into the contest looking to make amends for the last two weeks – going down to the two in-form sides of the competition – and the Head Coach is confident his side’s inclusions this week will help steady the ship in the lead up to the all-important playoffs.
With experienced trio Michael Jakobsen, Neil Kilkenny and Osama Malik set to make their way back into the eleven on, Valkanis says he will be looking forward to showing what his side can offer.
“It’s very important. I don’t think I have to say how important it is, it’s finals football on the doorstep,” Valkanis said.
“Adelaide have had some good results and are playing good football, they have nothing to fear and they are playing very freely. We want to finish as high as we can and get a home final and progress how we want to.
“It’s an important game against a tricky team. We need to stamp our authority at home.”
City’s last encounter with the Reds saw Valkanis’ side suffer a late loss against the run of play and the Head Coach says his side are making sure of no repeat result at AAMI Park on Friday.
“That was a disappointing result and our performance in that game was good in the chances we created and the goal that was disallowed in the first half, it could have been a different game,” he said.
“We learnt a lot from that game in the way we set up for counter attacks and things like that and we’re confident we can take that into this game. We know they’re a dangerous team.
“We feel confident in the way we play against them because they are an open ball-playing team as well and they like to play the football the way we play so it’s a different proposition this game to some other games and we’re looking forward to it.
Valkanis also spoke to the media about the return of influential defender Michael Jakobsen, saying the Dane’s qualities will be a welcomed addition to the squad.
“He’s in the squad, you can see me smiling, im very happy,” he said.
“He’s been out for quite some time so for him, playing will be about getting match fitness as well. He’s been out for quite a length of time and getting prepared for finals football.
“Jako is going to bring leadership qualities at the back and being able to organise people in front and around him just like he did at the beginning of the season when he was playing. He also brings insurance to the rest of the group as well because he’s an important character amongst the group.
“His personality brings a lot of belief to the group when he’s at the back. A lot of experienced was missed and a lot of guidance to the players around him and the younger players around him.”
City take on Adelaide on Friday night at AAMI Park in the final home match of the season. Secure your place at the match today!