Fresh off an important Melbourne Derby win, City boss Erick Mombaerts is looking forward to further incorporating a player he says can be the best player in the league ahead of a Sky Blue-favoured Wellington Phoenix challenge on Saturday.
City defeated Melbourne Victory 2-1 in the season’s third and final Melbourne Derby last Friday, with Florin Berenguer supplying the opening goal in just the eighth minute before providing a sublime backheel assist to set up Jamie Maclaren’s follow-up strike in the 71st.
Content to sit back, allow their opponents to have the ball and look to break on the counter, City were relatively comfortable winners of the contest. Victory’s first shot on target didn't arrive until Robbie Kruse fired in a tepid long-range effort in the second half.
The only blemish on their copybook came via a calamitous error from goalkeeper Tom Glover, who blundered a relatively straight-forward save of an Ola Toivonen free-kick.
Beyond the importance of a derby win, however, the win looms large for City in serving as an occasion when they finally, after falling short every other time of asking in 2019/20, were able to take three points from a high-stakes fixture.
“First, we were all happy to win this game,” Mombaerts said today. “It was a good emotion to win this game, it was a derby and we wanted to win this game.
“After that, we only had two days after the game we just have a review, what we have done well and we analyse our performance. Then the most important thing is to prepare for the next game and to confirm the good things that we have done.
“We can’t stay with good emotions too long; we have to prepare.”
City are set to fly out tomorrow afternoon to New Zealand ahead of a Saturday afternoon meeting with Wellington Phoenix.
After going nine-games unbeaten at one point during the season, Phoenix have lost two of their past four games, going down 4-2 to Perth Glory last week and down 1-0 to Brisbane Roar in round 15.
“They can score goals, but they also don’t concede a lot,” Mombaerts said.