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Middle East trip a boost for City

January 21, 2015 09:13:42 UK

John van’t Schip was pleased with Melbourne City’s Abu Dhabi trip.

Melbourne City coach John van ‘t Schip and captain Patrick Kisnorbo have voted the club’s mid-season trip to Abu Dhabi a success.

The squad took advantage of the A-League’s Asian Cup break to jet out for a 12-day intensive training camp.

Van ‘t Schip said the break, which came just after City had suffered their first defeat in five games when they went down 2-0 away to Central Coast, had been a success on a number of fronts.

It was perfect for us to work closely together as a team on our goals in very good conditions and using great facilities.

John van’t Schip

While their A-League rivals have been restricted to training at home City, who are 13.00 to win the A-League Grand Final, played two friendly matches during their time in the Middle East.

They lost 2-0 to local club Al Jazira, but saw international marquee Robert Koren play his first 90 minutes for the club. City then earned a 1-1 draw against Ukrainian side FC Dnipro thanks to David Williams’ late equaliser.

Van ‘t Schip said: “Our match against Al Jazira was promising, but we were very pleased with the performance against FC Dnipro, who are a strong team.

“I was happy with the way we played in that match and the important thing was we have improved during our time here. It was perfect for us to work closely together as a team on our goals in very good conditions and using great facilities.”

Defender Kisnorbo regarded the game against the Ukrainian side, who have made it through to the knockout phase of this season’s UEFA Europa League, as a great performance.

He said City, who resume their A-League campaign against Western Sydney on 1st February, had gained much from their trip.

“We’ve spent a lot of time together and got to know each other even better,” Kisnorbo added. “I think that translates on the pitch, coming together closer as a unit always helps us.”

City are 1.95 to beat Western Sydney in their next match, with Wanderers 3.75 and the draw 3.50.

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