Melbourne City played poorly and were fortunate enough to go home from Western Sydney with a point thanks to a wonderful long range drive from Frenchman Harry Novillo.
Just ask coach John van ‘t Schip, who didn’t try to beat around the bush when he was asked about his side’s performance against the struggling Wanderers, who have been stuck at the foot of the table all season.
“We came from behind and got a point. It was about character, staying together and fighting. We had chances if the final pass had been a bit sharper, we could have stolen the win. It wasn’t our best performance. But looking at the result its important,” the Dutchman said.
Van ‘t Schip was right to lament his side’s lack of intensity at the outset. Normally City are quick starters and have scored many of their goals this season in the opening period. This time, the Wanderers dominated from the first whistle.
“We started very slowly. We gave possession away, we were too late in reacting, giving away cheap corners, the pressure builds and ended up in a goal,” Van’t Schip said.
Still, the way the team dug in and rescued a difficult situation against an opponent which had its tail up gave him something to take from the game.
“We are showing that we can be a team that can also fight and get back into a game after coming from behind. In this period of the season it’s very difficult. That’s something that really adds to this team. The next step is to try and get our way of playing more into what we want.”
City are in the driving seat to snare the final play off berth ahead of Brisbane, but van ‘t Schip is not making any mathematical calculations.
“We have to look at ourselves. We have to gain as many points as possible and then see,” he said.
‘It will be a race to the end. We can’t start calculating. We still have three big games coming up. Wellington, Adelaide and Perth are all difficult opponents. ” Ladder after round 24 P W D L GF GA GD Pts *Wellington Phoenix 23133741281342 *Melbourne Victory 22118347281941 *Sydney FC 23118443301341 *Perth Glory 2311843830841 *Adelaide United 23124739261340 Melbourne City 249783434034 Brisbane Roar 2384113637-128 Central Coast Mariners 2448122244-2220 Western Sydney Wanderers 2436152640-1415 *Newcastle Jets 2328131847-2914 * – denotes teams yet to play
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