Preview: Bolton Wanderers XI vs. Melbourne City FC

Melbourne City will wrap up their 17-day Manchester tour when they take on a Bolton Wanderers XI at the County Ground in Leyland on Wednesday evening (BST).

John van’t Schip’s side has drawn its previous two encounters on English soil – 2-2 in a behind-closed-doors match against Bury and a 1-1 draw with Oldham Athletic – and Wednesday night’s match will provide another good test in the lead up to the FFA Cup.

Van’t Schip said the final match against Bolton would be the most accurate gauge of how successful the camp in Manchester has been.

“After our first game during the first week we were not fully ready because of the players’ jet lag when training had started and we needed to build it up in a different kind of way,” van’t Schip said.

“The first game we played every player almost for 45 minutes each; the second game some players started to play longer and the plan is for the third game to see how far the players have come to play 90 minutes.

“When we arrive back in Australia we have 10 days training before we play Sydney [FC] in the FFA Cup and that of course is important for our players to be ready to play 90 minutes.”

While van’t Schip gave little indication of who could line up for Melbourne City FC on Wednesday night, Damien Duff is one player van’t Schip will look to play some extra minutes.

“It is important for Damien [to play extra minutes],” van’t Schip said. “He is coming from a different kind of pre-season – he was not with us for the first part in Melbourne.

“He’s making a very good impression during training, but he’s still behind in his workload.”

Van’t Schip said that despite being wary of Bolton, the main focus of tomorrow night’s match will be on Melbourne City.

“We have viewed some clips [of the opposition], but we’re focused a lot on what we want and on our own game,” van’t Schip said.

“But of course when the opponent has the ball you have to adapt, so we have different kind of scenarios in place for when the opponent has the ball, when they play with two or one strikers up front.

“It’s really about working on our own game plan and really trying to execute that on a higher level than what we did against Bury and Oldham.”

Bolton Wanderers XI kicked off its pre-season with a 1-1 draw with Babmer Bridge on July 12.

Match Details
Pre-Season Friendly
Wednesday 23 July 2014
Bolton Wanderers XI vs. Melbourne City FC
Venue: County Ground, Leyland
Kick-Off: 7.30pm (BST)