JVS: Setback to cost Koren derby debut

John van ‘t Schip says a setback suffered on the training ground is likely to cost Melbourne City’s international marquee Robert Koren a chance of making his debut in the derby against Melbourne Victory next weekend.

City laboured to a 1-1 draw with the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Sunday, needing a David Villa goal to come from behind and salvage a point after conceding against the run of play.

The rebranded club dominated possession but struggled to carve out chances against Phil Stubbins’ stubborn visitors, having also fired blanks away to Sydney FC in Round 1.

However, while Van ‘t Schip plans to use Koren to remedy his team’s rustiness going forward, he will likely have to wait until Round 4 at the earliest to do so.

“There’s no use talking about Robi now,” the City coach said of the calf injury victim.

“We’re talking about the players we have. When Robi comes in it’s going to be a different story.

“He had a little bit of a setback this week, so that was disappointing. We had in our plan to have him available today.

“So we have to see if we can work him up for the derby. But it’s going to be doubtful if he’s going to be there. That’s a big disappointment for everybody and especially for Robi.”

Despite insisting before the match that his team are about more than just one man, Van ‘t Schip couldn’t avoid dissecting the performance of superstar Villa, who saved City for the second match in succession following his goal on debut away to Sydney.

“He needs only a little moment,” Van ‘t Schip said.

“First half he was near with a header, second half with that corner. He’s always going to be dangerous and find spaces to score a goal or set up for someone else. So we get another week with him (to) get stronger and prepare ourselves for the derby.”

Sign up for Fantasy A-League now!