Melbourne City FC coach John van’t Schip said his side will look to maintain its winning momentum when the Club face the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Friday night.
City head into the clash in a buoyant mood after an impressive 3-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners last week, but van’t Schip said his players are firmly focused on the challenge presented by the fourth-placed Jets.
“It’s important to get good results. For the boys and the confidence, everybody knows that a win is helping us in building what we are doing,” he said.
“We are more than happy with the win we had against the Central Coast but now it’s a different opponent. They have different approach and a different kind of way that they play. We just have to prepare ourselves and play a good game to get another three points.”
The Jets have made a flying start to the season under new Head Coach Scott Miller, winning two of their opening three matches, including a hard-fought win 1-0 win over Melbourne Victory in Round 3.
Key to their winning start has been their discipline in defence, with van’t Schip acknowledging the Jets will be difficult to break down on Friday night.
“[Newcastle is] a very solid team. Defensively they have a very good structure and going forward they have [Milos] Trifunovic, who is a pure striker,” he said.
“They want to frustrate their opponents and the longer it stays 0-0 for them the better. That is their approach but it can change, because with gaining points the confidence improves and the players and team start to play differently.”
“They’ve shown that out of their defensive structure they have gained confidence and played some good football against the top teams in the league in Wellington, Sydney and Victory.”
Key attackers Corey Gameiro and David Williams experienced their first taste of Hyundai A-League action this season against the Mariners after recovering from long-term injuries, giving van’t Schip a welcome selection headache in the final third.
“They’re a bit further now, they are still in a kind of pre-season after coming back from long injuries,” he said. “It’s now building up and making sure that in a few weeks’ time, David and Corey can play 90 minute games.”
“We just have to see and manage what is best for them and the team – whether they start or come in as a sub – but it also depends on their performance.”
“If you look at the group I think we are balanced. We still have players out but I am happy with the depth that we have, with the young players that are coming in and grabbing the opportunity.”
“It makes the team stronger, players are coming back and fighting knowing they have to do a lot to get back in the team. I’m happy with that but there is still room for improvement.”