Van’t Schip frustrated with long balls

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Melbourne City coach John van’t Schip says his side has a lot of work to do after they squandered a two goal lead to lose 3-2 against Newcastle Jets on Friday night.

With early injury concerns, Melbourne City look like a side lacking depth. A young team missing the experienced players in Robert Koren and Harry Novillo, had probably cost them a win.

The City boss said his side became nervous after going 2-0 up, and reverted to a long-ball style of play which he did not want.

“We don’t open up, we start from the back, then we immediately have to try to open up and get the ball, going around and getting it into the midfield, but that didn’t happen,” Van’t Schip said.

“It started with free kicks taking too long, and then it adds up, every ball is almost going long and we lose the second ball and we make them stronger because that’s their strong point.

“We continued with that in the second half, even though again, we addressed it at half time and we couldn’t change it.

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“We knew that Williams and Kuzmanovski would not play more than an hour, so we brought in fresh legs, but it didn’t really change.”

When a team wastes a 2-0 lead it’s easy to point the finger however the Jets outstanding performance to thwart City should be given the credit it is due.

Van’t Schip conceded complacency crept in to let Newcastle swoop in and gobble up City’s defenders in the second half.

“We stopped playing, going 2-0 up, I think after the 30th minute, you already saw that we weren’t playing the game we were playing in the first half hour,” he said.

“I think in the first 30 minutes we had the possession of 70-30 our way, but at the 65 minute mark it was already 50-50, I think because we gave away our possession.

“If we don’t have the ball and start kicking long then of course we’re inviting the opponent that have more physical, more use to do that kind of play and battle for the ball, and we struggled with that and instead of getting out of it we only got worse.

“Newcastle have a good new energy in the team, and of course the first results gave them confidence, so credit to them.”

Melbourne City remain fifth on the ladder and will look to bounce back in a difficult task next Thursday night against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.

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Clement Tito
Currently studying at Deakin University in Melbourne, Clem has experience writing on AFL and has worked at Preston Leader Newspapers in Victoria. He loves reporting, spectating, discussing and playing both AFL and football.