Football 3 years ago

City pass test of A-League character

  • City pass test of A-League character

Melbourne City are determined to use their A-League derby win as a springboard for success as they prepare for a tricky patch against the competition's fellow pacesetters over the next three weeks.

Their 2-1 triumph over Melbourne Victory on Saturday was a win to savour for John van 't Schip's side, well beaten by their fiercest rivals the last three times, including a semi-final rout last May.

The Dutchman has seen plenty to like in the past month, with 16 goals in four straight wins to take City out of the league's bottom four and into second place.

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But at AAMI Park, he saw something else missing from previous Heart and City sides; character.

"Their fighting spirit was unbelievable," he said.

"That gives me a lot of joy looking forward because that's something that in the past often went the other way."

With games against the other members of the top four - Brisbane, Sydney and Western Sydney - in their next three matches, van 't Schip said the team believed they could continue their winning streak.

"We want to keep the run going. The energy and confidence in the group is big," he said.

"With the quality we have we can hurt opponents."

It was City's attacking prowess that earned their first three wins, with 14 goals blowing away Perth, Central Coast and Newcastle.

On Saturday night, City's rejigged rearguard was the match-winner.

Led by Thomas Sorensen in goal, City were breached just once from 23 Victory shots; a failed assault rival coach Kevin Muscat could scarcely believe.

Right-back Ivan Franjic, in his first derby, called the second-half switch-off an onslaught.

"These are games in the past that we would drop points or lose and it showed the character of the boys," he told AAP.

"It was unbelievable how we just stood strong and got the result."

For the Socceroo, the result was indicative of the club's trajectory.

"City's a club rising," he said.

"We've got the best facilities in the league and it's the club you want to be at."

"People were saying this was our test, this was our test.

"It's still early in the season but our destiny is in our hands."

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