Vidosic trusts reunited City will be ready after disrupted week

Melbourne City coach Rado Vidosic admits that preparing for a Westfield W-League Semi Final without nine key players has proved a challenge.

Six of the Premiers’ stars were competing in Olympic Games qualifiers with the Westfield Matildas, while Scotland's Claire Emslie, Serbia ace Milica Mijatovic and New Zealand defender Rebekah Stott were also in different corners of the world on international duty.

Vidosic’s remaining players trained against Melbourne City’s under-14s boys team through the previous week and stepped up their match sharpness with a 70-minute contest against a team from the Emerging Matildas program last Saturday.

City go up against fourth seeds Western Sydney Wanderers at ABD Stadium on Sunday less than 48 hours after the Westfield Matildas landed from their trip to Vietnam but Vidosic trusts that his undefeated team will be ready to pick up where they left off.

“It’s been hard,” Vidosic said. “The first week we trained with the boys, so that was great because we had bigger numbers.

“We had 20 something players, so we could do more tactical. This week we decided to train just with the girls, and a smaller group, we had 10-11 players mainly.

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“On Friday we had 15 players – Clare [Emslie] came back and Milie [Mijatovic] came back so it was good.

“What can you do with smaller numbers? They all understand that’s how it is unfortunately and they all roll up their sleeves and they worked very, very hard.

“I know that the players that stayed with here will be ready for the game, they are fully fit, there’s no problems.

“Now we just wait to see how the Matildas and [Rebekah] Stotty is when she comes back.”

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City head into the Westfield W-League Finals Series as favourites following a 12-match unbeaten campaign which included a 4-0 win against the Red and Black in Round 13.

Wanderers, who are gearing up for their first ever Semi Final appearance on Sunday, were without key players Kristen Hamilton and Ella Mastrantonio in the heavy defeat and Vidosic admits he does not know what to expect from a full-strength Western Sydney side.

“Every game is a tough game and they missed several players last time,” Vidosic added.

“I think they changed slightly the way they played previous weeks leading into our game.

“It took us a little bit of time to understand where the space is, and where the opportunities to penetrate are. 

“What to expect this week? I don’t know. We can’t prediction what they are going to do.

“Will they try to do something similar? Or will they come up with some new system?
We won’t change, we’ll just play our normal game.

“I think that the less disruption for players, especially that we could not practise in the last to weeks – the least amount of disruption is the best for them at the moment.”

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Westfield W-League Semi Finals

Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Date: Saturday, 14 March 2020
Venue: Epping Stadium, Epping
Kick-off: 2:00pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: FOX Sports, ABC TV
Stream: ABC iview, Kayo Sports, MyFootball App

Melbourne City vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Date: Sunday, 15 March 2020
Venue: ABD Stadium, Broadmeadows                                      
Kick-off: 1:30pm (AEDT)
Broadcast: FOX Sports, ABC TV
Stream: ABC iview, Kayo Sports, MyFootball App

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