Above: Melbourne City head coach Rado Vidosic pictured today at his media conference. Photo: Melbourne City.
Melbourne City face Brisbane Roar as Round 13 of the A-League Women gets underway tomorrow. Impetus’ Ben Gilby heard from the Sky Blues’ head coach Rado Vidosic ahead of their match – one that if they can win gives City a realistic chance of finishing top of the table at the end of the season (23/2/22).
Melbourne City head coach Rado Vidosic began his media conference by addressing the devastating news that Holly McNamara, one of the competition’s star players this season, will not play again after suffering an ACL injury against Sydney FC at the weekend.
“We are all trying to rally around her and support her. She remains an important part of our team,” Vidosic emphasized. “She is such a lovely person, one of the youngest members of the squad. Holly is contracted to us for next season, so she will do her rehab with us ahead of returning.
“She has been a breath of fresh air and someone that we can build our whole football style around. Someone like that is priceless. We believe that she has a long future ahead with our club and the Matildas. She will probably go and play overseas with a big club at some point, but we want to have a relationship with her so she knows how much she is admired and loved here.”
Reflecting on his team’s achievement of being the first side to defeat Sydney FC this season at the weekend, City’s head coach said: “We hadn’t changed anything (in our game plan). We played our game and pressed them high, looking to make them uncomfortable in the first half. We could have scored more goals. Then it changed in the second half and they dominated.
“We managed to get over the line. It wasn’t easy. The second-half performance is something that we need to be proud of. It showed great character and that we can dig deep in the tough moments. If we can put that into tomorrow’s game and future ones, we’ll do well. That never give up attitude. I was so proud of that performance.”
That win means that if City wins every one of their remaining games, they will be crowned Premiers going into the Finals, but Vidosic is not counting his chickens yet.
“We’re just not talking about it. We know how tough and unpredictable this league is. Brisbane Roar have nothing to play for, nothing to fear. They will just come out and get as much as they can. It won’t be easy for us. Expectations are higher for us and everyone expects us to walk through the game and it won’t be like that.”
City will be without three key players for the match with Roar. In addition to Holly McNamara’s injury, Rebekah Stott and Hannah Wilkinson have not returned from international duty in the USA with New Zealand yet. Vidosic outlined how he will try and fill the gaps.
“We have Leticia (McKenna) and she is a fantastic player. Such a good, technical player with great vision. She is also good defensively. There is also Caitlin Karic (16-year-old striker). If she can play to her strengths, we won’t feel a difference in our playing style. Caitlin can definitely give us something that we are lacking with missing those three players.
“She is a fantastic talent and has so many qualities it is frightening. We need to slowly integrate her. She needs to learn how to be a professional player and concentrate. It’s just learning those micro-behaviours on the pitch that she hasn’t learned yet. From a physical point of view, she is big and strong.”