City will try to keep Miller: Van’t Schip

John van’t Schip says he will look to extend Liam Miller’s stay with the club as Melbourne City seek to boost morale and bolster their squad following a disappointing 2-2 draw with Central Coast.

City led 2-0 at AAMI Park on Sunday and appeared on course to record long-awaited successive wins, only to concede twice late on, including a heartbreaking 94th-minute equaliser from Mariners captain John Hutchinson.

A bright spot for the hosts was the performance of Miller, appearing for the club as an emergency replacement for Aaron Mooy and Stefaun Mauk, absent on Socceroos and Olyroos duty respectively.

Asked if he will seek to keep the Irishman beyond the pair’s return next week, Van’t Schip was adamant an attempt would be made. 

“Yes. We’ll have a talk with him,” he said.

“We know that and you could see today, he’s a good player. I think you saw that, with keeping the ball, being patient, just giving the team some extra rest when we had the ball. I was very happy with his performance. We’ll have a talk and see what’s possible for the coming period.”

Quizzed on how City – who have four foreign players and a squad of 23 players already registered – could find a way to retain Miller, Van’t Schip said: “We’ll talk about that.”

“We have of course a few players injured. That’s something we’re going to discuss.”

As for Sunday’s late collapse, the Dutchman insisted his players did not switch off, instead blaming the draw on the fact City dropped off in an attempt to avoid conceding, a move that ultimately proved their undoing. 

“You never have it in the bag,” he said. 

“It’s 90 (minutes) plus (of) being concentrated.

“That showed again. We were not taking it for granted. We dropped too deep in the end and you invite them (on).

“Very disappointing, because it feels like a loss.”