City ready to charge into A-League Men decider
Melbourne City are confident they can handle the disruption of a week off leading into the A-League Men grand final and claim their second championship in three years.
City booked their ticket to the decider with a 4-0 win over a 10-man Sydney FC on Friday night, winning their semi-final 5-1 on aggregate to book a clash with either Central Coast or Adelaide at CommBank Stadium on June 3.
Coach Rado Vidosic admitted his charges had struggled with rustiness when they had a week off before the first leg 1-1 draw in Sydney but was confident they'd learned from the experience ahead of the decider.
"We were not happy with the way we played in Sydney after the week off," he said.
"Yes, some of the niggling injuries can get a little bit better, heal a bit more.
"But I think you lose that rhythm of playing weekends and preparing throughout the week, travelling and all that.
"But hopefully we can learn what we did and what we didn't do against Sydney, the first trip, so now hopefully we can get this one right."
City will sweat on some concerns to key personnel.
Aiden O'Neill missed the first leg with back spasms and while he played a key role on Friday night, the midfielder, along with Mathew Leckie and Curtis Good, was substituted in the second half.
"There was still a little bit of pain in his back and it shoots into his hamstring," Vidosic said.
"So that's why we took him off a little bit earlier, same with Leckie, same with Goody. But I think everyone else is okay, no problems.
"We'll get a few days off and then start preparing for the grand final."
City will play an internal practice match late next week then start their preparation.
Vidosic said the club had moved on from the decision to host the grand final in Sydney "months ago" and would embrace the challenge of travelling to the game.
"It's a good challenge, to go outside your comfort zone and you need to win it," he said.
"It probably is going to be a bigger occasion if you win it."
The Mariners lead Adelaide 2-1 in their tie before Saturday's second leg.
Vidosic admitted he'd like to play Adelaide to get some revenge for copping a 4-2 loss to the Reds in March, but was confident regardless of which opponent City faced.
"With these players you've got that feeling every week," he said.
"You feel that you can beat anyone in any given day."