March 15, 2015 11:21:16 UK
Melbourne City coach John van ‘t Schip hailed his side’s 4-0 win over Newcastle Jets as important to keep the pressure on Brisbane Roar.
City, who are 26.00 to win the Grand Final, breezed past the Jets at AAMI Park to bounce back from potentially costly back-to-back defeats.
Losing to two of the bottom three – Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers – in the past week had harmed City’s chances of making the Finals Series.
Beating Newcastle took them back into the top six with a two-point cushion over Brisbane, but having played three games more than the Roar.
“We all know that Brisbane has two games in hand, and if they win, we have a hard task to get into the play-offs,” said van ‘t Schip.
“We had other thoughts about the first two games this week … [but] of course we still want to keep the pressure on. We’re still in, and that’s why the pressure today was good. I think for the morale, [it was] very important.”
He added: “The message [to the players today] was clear, we still have possibilities. We have to believe in that. As long as we believe, and we get results, it can happen. That was the message and they took it on board and we had a good win.”
French winger Harry Novillo scored on his home debut after former Jets skipper Kew Jaliens had opened the scoring against the team that released him in January.
Every game from now on is important for City, none more so than the home clash with Brisbane on 28th March.
Striker Josh Kennedy’s chances of being fit for next week’s trip to Sydney FC are in the balance after he was taken off early in the second half with hip tightness, with City 4.00 to secure the win.
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