March 07, 2015 10:41:00 UK
Melbourne City coach John van ‘t Schip is wary of a possible new-boss factor when his side face Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.
The Mariners will be led for the first time by Tony Walmsley, who has been installed as interim coach following the sacking of Phil Moss on Friday.
It will be Walmsley’s first match as an A-League coach and comes just a fortnight after he returned to Australia to take up his post of technical director.
They’ll have a different energy and the players will be different I think.
John van ‘t Schip
But he knows the Mariners set-up well, having coached their youth team for three seasons before leaving to join Sheffield United in 2012.
Ahead of the clash in Gosford, where City are 2.25, Van ‘t Schip said it was always dangerous playing a team with a new head coach.
“They’ll have a different energy and the players will be different I think,” he added. “It could work out well, it can work out not good, but it’s up to us to do the things we have to do and make sure that we’re prepared for everything and try to play our own game.”
The Mariners have axed Moss with their chances of making the Finals Series looking slim, with nine defeats from their 19 games. They are eight points off the top six going into this weekend’s round and have played a game more than sixth-placed Melbourne City.
Walmsley will be assisted by club skipper John Hutchinson, who has been appointed player-coach for the remainder of his final A-League season before retirement.
City could give a debut to French recruit Harry Novillo in the first of three significant games in the space of seven days.
Van ‘t Schip’s side face the bottom two clubs in quick succession next week, travelling to Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday before hosting Newcastle Jets.
Melbourne City are 3.75 to beat the Mariners by a one-goal margin.
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