Melbourne City FC Women’s Head Coach Rado Vidosic says his side is treating every game as if it were a final, following their 3-0 win over Canberra United at AAMI Park on Saturday.
A blistering first-half performance saw the home side take a 3-0 lead into the half-time break, as Rhali Dobson netted an impressive brace to go alongside Kyah Simon’s powerful header.
City now sit in fifth position on the league ladder, only three-points behind top spot, as they leapfrogged Heather Garriock’s side.
Following the match, Vidosic highlighted the importance of rectifying a slow start to the season in a league that is made up of 12 regular season games.
“Because we had such a slow start to the season, every game since has been a final for us,” Vidosic explained. “This was our first Grand Final and we still have five more before we potentially get to the Semi-Final.”
“It’s a big task, but now that we’re full strength with everyone back, you can see the difference – we can keep a clean sheet, we can attack and we can score goals.
“We are now ready for that final sprint,” he added.
Vidosic identified playing around Canberra’s strength in the middle of the park, as key to defeating the side from Australia’s capital.
“I think it was a good challenge for us in the second-half, we were under a lot of pressure and this was probably the most uncomfortable game we’ve played in so far since we’ve been full strength, so all credit to them [Canberra],” he said.
“We identified targeting them out wide due to their strength through the middle. We kept the ball reasonably well in wide areas, we penetrated and we got behind them, we scored from these wide areas, but once we did play centrally or look back towards the middle there was turnovers.”
The gaffer has praised both Kyah Simon and captain Steph Catley for their influence on the team since they returned from their respective injuries.
“All of Kyah’s injuries are ok now, she just copped a slight knock early, we’ve had to manage her and today she rewarded us with a beautiful goal,” Vidosic said.
“I think she was a bit rusty when she first started as she hadn’t played for several months, but she’s getting better and better now. She’s had a tough training program with us, but now she’s ready to reward us and show us just how good she is.”
After playing 45-minutes against Newcastle Jets a fortnight prior, Catley played the full 90-minutes for the first time since she underwent knee surgery against Canberra on Saturday.
“It’s fantastic for her confidence, it’s fantastic for the team, we know that she’s one of the best left full-backs in the world,” he said. “She’s an unbelievable athlete, she can only get better and she will only get better with each game.”
City will look to continue their winning run when they take on Western Sydney Wanderers on New Year’s Day at ANZ Stadium, before returning to Melbourne to take on Melbourne Victory at Epping Stadium in the season’s second Melbourne Derby.
“We travel to Western Sydney Wanderers on January 1, it’s going to be tough game as they have nothing to lose, we know that they’ll give everything that they’ve got, but if we can get another good result we are in the mix, we’re looking forward to it.”