Melbourne City FC Women’s Head Coach Rado Vidosic has his team sitting on top of the Westfield W-League ladder after six rounds but has vowed that there’s much more improvement to come from his side as they approach the second half of the season.
City are unbeaten from their opening six fixtures, registering five wins and one draw as they prepare to sit out Round 7 with the bye, before returning to action in Round 8 when they head to Brisbane to take on the Roar at Dolphin Stadium on Thursday 2 January.
Vidosic’s side enter the bye after defeating Perth Gory 1-0 at ABD Stadium to secure their fifth consecutive win. Despite registering five wins in a row, City have struggled to convert from their many chances in front of goal, but Vidosic says it’s only a matter of time before the floodgates open.
“We believe that we can create enough chances to start scoring more goals, so I’m really pleased with our ability to keep a clean sheet and deny our opponents,” Vidosic said. “We’ve conceded three goals in six games, we’re defending very high up the pitch, so our strikers are our first defensive line which makes it much easier for our defenders to sweep behind them. From that point of view, I’m very proud of the team’s efforts and our ability to keep our structure at the back.”
“It doesn’t really matter who scores the goals or who sets them up, the most important thing is, is that we continue creating chances and continue having players in the right areas and sooner or later the floodgates will open and we’re going to score three or four goals because we do create enough chances.
“We need to be patient, continue working hard and the goals will come, and with that so will our confidence in the attacking third,” he added.
Pleased with his side’s ability to create chances and their resilience in defence, Vidosic has outlined rectifying his team’s slow starts to matches as an important factor with the pointy end of the season fast approaching.
“I was very disappointed with our first half against Perth, it was very similar to our first half against Melbourne Victory, but then we were able to turn it around in the second half and finish with a really strong half of football,” he said. “We had a number of chances to score more than one goal, we have to be pleased with our second half performance and with the win.”
“We changed the structure in the second half which worked in our favour. We just need a little bit more composure in that front third, I mean we had a number of good chances we were just unable to capitalise – we could have easily scored three or four goals but it is what it is and registering a clean sheet is very important for us.
“We now just need to be a little bit more composed; I mean in the first half we just gave away too many balls, which was very different to the second half where we were able to maintain possession.”
Reflecting on last season’s slow start, Vidosic has put this season’s strong start down to a clean bill of health and the importance of managing players during a short but intense season.
“We were unfortunate with injuries last season, but this year has been different, girls have been able to play through injuries and we’ve had a relatively healthy squad,” Vidosic explained.
“It’s a short season and you need to be smart about how you manage your players. Most of our players haven’t had a break, they’ve come from the World Cup and the NWSL [National Women’s Soccer League]. It’s important to form a balance between allowing them time to rest and recover and then putting in the hard yards on the training track.”
City return to action in Round 8 when they head north to take on Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium on Thursday 2 January, before they return to ABD Stadium in Round 9 to host Canberra United under lights on Thursday 9 January.