Valkanis gushes praise on “weapon” Cahill

Melbourne City coach Michael Valkanis has praised his side’s valiant 1-0 victory over Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Friday night.

An atmospheric crowd of 9,438 filled AAMI Park to witness a great contest full of exciting football and rivalled drama – a City win that has kept their hopes of a third-placed finish alive.

Ultimately, it was a trademark Tim Cahill header which helped City firm their position inside the top four on the Hyundai A-League table.

The marquee-man got onto a Nicolas Colazo cross to head past United ‘keeper Eugene Galekovic.

City cannot purely rely on the form of Cahill to continually win them games, but boy does it help.

“We know Timmy is a weapon,” Valkanis said post-game.

“Not only his header today but his performance on the pitch; workmanlike attitude, his pressing, his work rate off the ball… I thought he was exceptional.”

At only 22, Bruce Kamau promises to be a star of the future.

And against his former side on Friday night, the speedy winger showed more-than glimpses of elite skill that caused Reds’ defenders headaches for the full 90 minutes.

Michael Jakobsen returned to City’s starting line-up after missing the past two months through injury.

Valkanis has the missed the Scandinavian; a defender integral to his side’s defensive structure – Friday night was a testament to this.

He brings organisation and leadership to Valkanis’ side and the City coach was quick to reiterate the importance of his return post-game.

“If you look at his stats, he’s probably the best defender in the A-League,” he said.

“I thought he had another very, very good game.

“He’s very important to us and he’s very important to the group.

“He probably lifted everyone else around him as well.

“Moving forwards, it’s fantastic to have him play 90 minutes and very important next week that he gets another 90 minutes under his belt coming into finals.”

Jakobsen wasn’t the only individual City welcomed this week, with Roy Hodgson joining the light blue brigade as a mentor.

The presence of former England boss in the stands on his first day at the club would have boosted determination and refined concentration in a City side who have too often lacked consistency.

It showed.

The 1-0 victory brought out a gutsy, dogged performance spectators haven’t seen from City in quite some time.

“It was always going to be an arm-wrestle,” Valkanis admitted.

“We want to finish as high up on the ladder as we can.

“Am I happy with the boys? Yes.

“Am I happy with their effort? Yes.

“Am I happy with a clean sheet? Yes.”

The win leaves City fourth, level with Brisbane Roar, but the Melbourne side trail due to an inferior goal difference.

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