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City must be more daring in attack: coach

AAP logoAAP 8/11/2016 Jason Phelan

Melbourne City coach John van 't Schip has challenged his players to be more daring in the face of ultra-defensive A-League tactics.

City couldn't muster a shot on target in last week's 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar, van 't Schip later accusing counterpart John Aloisi of 'parking the bus'.

City host Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Thursday night and will likely face similar defensive tactics from the seventh-placed Jets away from home.

But van 't Schip said it was up to his side to make the most of their plentiful attacking options.

"Newcastle will do the same and maybe they will defend because of the way that we want to play," van 't Schip told reporters on Wednesday.

"Maybe they will want to press us but we'll see. If not then we have to make sure that we move the ball quickly and try to mix it up and have more threats.

"Sometimes you have to be a bit more opportunistic as well.

"We were disappointed that we couldn't create enough chances (against Roar), but we'll work on that and how to penetrate, how to be a bit more optimistic in games because you can't walk the ball into the goal ... you have to have a shot, you have to have sometimes a (long) ball into the box.

"We have to improve playing in the final third ... I think that's something that we all know."

City are third on the A-League ladder after five rounds but van 't Schip said it was important to get a win at their AAMI Park home, where they've already lost once - to Perth Glory - this season.

The coach will need to make at least one change to his formation with midfielder Luke Brattan on international duties with the Socceroos.

Defender Ivan Franjic came on in the dying minutes against Roar, but declared himself ready to start after regaining peak fitness following a heart scare in the off-season.

Superstar striker Tim Cahill is set to feature against the Jets after he escaped unscathed in his return from an Achilles injury against Brisbane.

"He actually pulled up very well, so that's another positive sign," van 't Schip said.

"He had that little niggle but he's been training, he's getting through (the program) and I think he's getting exactly what he needs for the coming weeks."

STATS THAT MATTER

* Newcastle snatched a 2-1 win in their last encounter with Melbourne City and will now be looking for back to back victories against the Melbourne club for the first time since November 2013.

* Melbourne City have won three of their last five games against Newcastle.

* Newcastle Jets have scored 29% of their goals via headers this season, the most of any team, while Melbourne City have conceded 33% of their goals via the same method, also the most of any team.

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