Victory’s Lawrence Thomas unperturbed by City challenge

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Melbourne Victory’s goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas said that his side’s inability to defeat Melbourne City this season “is not something to worry about”, at a media event held at the iconic Luna Park on Thursday, ahead of this weekend’s Melbourne derby.

Victory were left licking their wounds by City twice in the 2018/19 A-League season, first in a 2-1 defeat in the league’s opener, then in a 1-1 draw in round nine, where City’s Dario Vidosic scored a 90th minute equaliser.

Lawrence Thomas and James Donachie takes a spin on the dodgem cars at Luna Park. Image credit : Ngau Kai Yan

“It’s not something to worry about, we’re sitting high up, sort of close to where we want to be … these things don’t play into our minds too much,” Thomas said.

“First I guess we need to keep a chance of catching Perth and to do that we have to win, we come out like every game, aggressive, confident, and in front of a full stadium hopefully.

“It goes without saying not even City, most teams that come to Melbourne, they tend to live … in front of big crowds, so last week’s result for them (City) doesn’t mean anything to us,” Thomas said.

City fell to a 3-1 defeat to Ernie Merrick’s 7th-placed Newcastle Jets last week, in round 19.

Alongside him was James Donachie, who made his first appearance for Victory against Wellington Phoenix last week as a 55th minute substitute, since his return from Korean side Jeonnam Dragons. The central defender is no stranger to Melbourne Derbies, having played in four in his previous two seasons with the club.

The duo strike a pose in front of Melbourne’s iconic theme park. Image credit : Ngau Kai Yan

“They’re always great games, lots of fans brings a good atmosphere and the boss always says a derby’s different because the intensity of the game, and what it means,” Donachie said.

“They’ve kind of done us twice, but we’re gonna go down there with all sorts of confidence. The derby’s different, every team will live for that occasion.

“You always go in pretty even in the first 20,30 minutes, but it’s always intense, anything can happen, but I think we’re confident of coming away with a result,” Donachie said.

The 25 year old has also issued a stark warning for City’s new signing, Jamie Maclaren – his former Brisbane Roar teammate. Since joining City in the mid season, Maclaren has registered two goals in two matches.

“He’s been away for a while, it’s good to see him back, but hopefully we will keep him quiet this weekend. Macca’s (Maclaren) plays a lot off the ball, he does quick runs in and out of the box, he’s sharp, and that’s what we got to look out for,” Donachie said.

Losing and drawing their two previous fixtures against Perth Glory and Wellington, Victory have fallen a further nine points behind top spot Glory, but Thomas remains upbeat about their chances.

It was all smiles and laughter ahead of the big Melbourne derby this weekend. Image credit : Ngau Kai Yan

“Perth has been outstanding this year, to give ourselves any chance this year we need to get the three points (this weekend). I think for a large majority of games we defend quite well, we have a few lapses here and there which leads to goals, but I think we rectified that quite well,” Thomas said.

Communication remains a key part of goalkeeping, and Thomas revealed a key way to boost his chemistry with Donachie on the pitch : over a cuppa.

“I try to communicate as much as possible to my back four and the two sixes, and just come to coffee with Donks (Donachie) after training and talk about ways we can defend better and about life in general,” Thomas said.

The Melbourne derby kicks off this weekend on the 23rd of February at Marvel Stadium.

Feature Image : Ngau Kai Yan

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Ngau Kai Yan
Ngau Kai Yanhttp://ngaukaiyan.com
Journalism undergrad at Monash University, Kai is a multimedia journalist covering Melbourne Victory. Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Once "stole" Shinji Kagawa's plane ticket.

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