Ahead of this weekend’s first Victoria A-League Women derby between Melbourne City and Western United – two teams with a 100% success rate so far – City interim head coach Dario Vidosic spoke to the media about an improving injury situation, positivity ahead of the game, and his view on the Grand Final venue controversy. Ben Gilby reports (15/12/22).
Above: Dario Vidosic addressing the media today. Image: Melbourne City.
AAMI Park hosts one of the most intriguing battles in the A-League Women so far this season as Melbourne City host fellow Victorian side Western United in the showdown between the only two sides to have won all of their matches to date.
City interim head coach Dario Vidosic is looking for his side to produce an improved showing as, despite recording a 5-1 win over Newcastle Jets last weekend, he feels the Sky Blues gave the New South Wales side an invite to get back into the game – something they can ill afford to do again this week.
“Sometimes as a player, you fall into a trap when it’s too easy at times. They pressed us. It was something we should have dealt with, we were coming back off a bye, but it (the game) could have easily have got away from us. If they (Newcastle Jets) had got back to 3-2 (it would have become very difficult)…we had about five or six more chances to score as well…we’ve spoken about it, we’ve analysed it…we need a more complete performance this weekend now.”
Vidosic pointed to the continual learning process that his squad are embarking on this season as one of the reasons for them allowing the Jets to obtain a foothold into a game that they should not have had. Key experienced players are missing, with youngsters stepping up.
“It’s a gradual thing. It’s about how they (City’s players) recognise things. If they (the opposition) change things, it’s about us noticing it. We have young players, Dani Galic is only 16, sometimes you forget how young they are. It’s a work in progress.”Melbourne City head coach Dario Vidosic on his current squad.
However, the City boss had some positive news on the injury front for the medium- term future: “Everyone looks good. Wilkie (Hannah Wilkinson) and Karly (Roestbakken) are starting to get close to coming back and it’s looking good for Emma Checker too, we’re building her back.”
Focusing specifically on Saturday, Vidosic is full of admiration for Western United but is confident in his team’s ability to maintain their winning run.
“They’ve had a fantastic start. We played them in a friendly game, so we know them a little bit although that was early in the (pre) season and their squad is very different now. They have quality all over the pitch. They are full of confidence, we’re full of confidence. We know what their strengths and weaknesses are, so we know what to target.”
The City coach concluded by addressing the week’s biggest news story in Australian football – the decision to award A-League Grand Finals to Sydney for the next three years, rather than the privilege of hosting the season finale going to the highest-placed team. With the Sky Blues currently top of the table, they would lose home advantage should they make the decider.
“At first it was a shock, but it’s out of our hands. I can understand the fans (reaction) as first and foremost I am a fan. My message to the team is we haven’t earned anything yet. Until you get to the full-time whistle in the semi-final, and you have the number one ranking, then it’s a different story.