28/02/2024

Melbourne City head coach Patrick Kisnorbo. (Photo: Melbourne City/Twitter)

After exiting the FFA Cup, Patrick Kisnorbo and Melbourne City still face an uncertain schedule to catch up with postponed games and the AFC Champions League.

Ahead of this weekend’s match against the Western Sydney Wanderers, Melbourne City coach Patrick Kisnorbo reflected on the hectic start to 2022.

In terms of how the team dealt with the FFA Cup match against the Wellington Phoenix, Kisnorbo saw a lot of positives to take out of the game.

“I thought we were great in terms of the way we physically and mentally prepared,” he told media on Friday.

“We had chances to score. We didn’t. It is what it is. We can’t change that now. What I’m really pleased with is the attitude especially given the circumstances that we faced.

“The areas that we got the ball into and the actual desire and drive to keep pushing the game for the 120 minutes. There’s a lot of positives that came out of the game.

“The result was the result and it’s the flip of a coin at the end of the day when you bring it to penalties.”

Managing the players so that no one is overworked through a fixture like this, especially off the back of a two-and-a-half-week absence, is not easy for a coach.

“You actually don’t know [whether anyone is overworked],” Kisnorbo said.

“You put the responsibility on the player, and you’ve got to trust their feel, if they’re okay. If they put their hand up, you trust them and you try and take them off.”

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Following the match against Wellington, social media was buzzing about Mathew Leckie not taking a penalty kick in the shootout. In the eyes of Kisnorbo, there’s nothing there.

“It was one of those things in terms of numbers. Mathew put his hand up, but it didn’t get to him and his number. He would have taken one.”

There was similarly a lot of talk about Scott Jamieson missing both of his shots from the spot, first in the 26th minute, and then again in the shootout. Kisnorbo was full of praise for the captain however, defending his performance.

“Unfortunately, in this industry stuff like that happens. You don’t plan it or want it. Being our captain, he wants to lead by example. For me, stepping up shows why he’s our captain regardless of what happened with missing the penalties.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s game against the Wanderers, the focus is less on the Wanderers and how they are going to set up, and more on looking internally for Kisnorbo.

“I think we need to concentrate on ourselves first and not worry too much about the opposition. We need to worry about ourselves and our processes for Sunday’s game.”

With all these postponements across the league, as well as the Asian Champions League commitments for City on the horizon in a few months, there could be a fixture overload for the reigning A-League Men champions.

There’s going to be plenty of match weeks with three games every seven or eight days to fit all the fixtures in. How will City try and juggle all of this?

“As a player I did it in England. It was pretty much play, rest, train one day, play,” Kisnorbo reflected.

“As a coach, it’s the unknown for myself, it’s the unknown for the team. It is literally [taking it] day-by-day because we are unfamiliar with the circumstances of this. We try our best but it’s a day-by-day scenario.”

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