May 02, 2015 08:03:11 UK
Melbourne City coach John van ‘t Schip is backing his side to cope with the pressure when they take on Wellington Phoenix in Sunday’s elimination final.
A semi-final away to rivals Melbourne Victory awaits if City, who are 26.00 to win the Grand Final, can get past Ernie Merrick’s side at Westpac Stadium.
That would ramp up the pressure even more, Victory having won the Premier’s Plate and finished 18 points ahead of City.
So although travelling to Wellington – where they were thrashed 5-1 in November – is a tough task, pressure is very much the name of the game in the finals.
I know they are maybe favourites but for us it’s not important.
John van ‘t Schip
It’s only the second final in City’s history, the first coming as the last game of van ‘t Schip’s previous spell as coach in 2012.
Asked whether he felt the match was the biggest in the club’s history, the Dutchman said: “I think it is because it’s a playoff game. This is the first year with the new ownership so it’s the biggest game.
“But it should be a good pressure and that’s what you’re playing for; you play for finals. The big games, in my opinion are the most beautiful ones and the best ones, so we should not look at it that way.”
Van ‘t Schip added: “The pressure is there to build and to get to a very good performance. I know they are maybe favourites but for us it’s not important, we have to just look at ourselves and make sure that we can rise above what we’re capable of.”
City, who are 3.30 to beat the Phoenix, will be without Jack Clisby (ankle), Mate Dugandzic (knee) and Kew Jaliens (suspended).
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