‘Judge us after Round 5’ – City coach Vidosic says defending Premiers need time

Melbourne City head into a crunch Melbourne Derby on Sunday searching for first win of 2020/21 but head coach Rado Vidosic believes the defending Premiers and Champions need time to find their feet.

Westfield Matildas attacker Alex Chidiac could be set to make her debut as winless City play their first home game of the new campaign against bitter rivals Melbourne Victory at CB Smith Reserve, a 4.05pm AEDT kick-off.

City claimed a record fourth Westfield W-League Championship in March 2020 after an undefeated campaign, but saw their 13-match winning run ended in a 0-0 draw against Brisbane Roar to open the new season, before Canberra United halted their 17-match unbeaten streak in a 2-1 reverse in Round 2.

Vidosic believes his much-changed team are playing catch up after joining together late in pre-season and he insists City’s results should be judged once they are up to speed – after Round 4 or 5. 

“We just need to be patient and we need to be reasonable with what the situation is at the moment,” Vidosic said.

“Most our players came late, a lot of our players have not played since September 2019 so you just have to be realistic with the situation we are in.

“We just need to be patient and once we reach Round 4 or Round 5, I think then we should be judged by the personal and our performances.”

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Vidosic revealed former Atletico Madrid star Chidiac trained with the first-team squad for the first time this week after completing her hotel quarantine following her move from Europe.

Victory finished in second place behind City in the 2019/20 Westfield W-League campaign, and drew their only game of the 2020/21 season so far, 0-0, away against Brisbane Roar.

Following the Premiers slow start to their title defence, the head coach believes a high-pressure Melbourne Derby clash could be just the tonic for his struggling side to get back on track.

“We had a big game in Round 1 and we had a big game in Round 2, this is or first home game. It’s a derby,” Vidosic said.

“To be honest, it is maybe a good opportunity for us to turn things around.

“We are still not 100% ready. If you look at Melbourne Victory’s preparation, they had most of their players training all pre-season.

“Sydney FC had all of their players training the whole pre-season, for like seven, eight weeks of pre-season. 

“We’ve still got players in hotel quarantine, going two weeks without training sessions, so we just need to be realistic, we cannot ask for too much from our girls.”

Match details

Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, 10 January 2021
Kick-off: 4.05pm AEDT
Venue: CB Smith Reserve
Broadcast: ABC TV, FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports

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