Joyce talks up back-up crew as City make finals preparations

They say depth is key to winning Championships and if Melbourne City’s 5-0 win over Central Coast Mariners is anything to go by they could be in for big finals series.

A largely second-string 11 took to the field for the Melburnians with goalkeeper James Delianov earning his first Hyundai A-League start while Y-League players Mitch Graham, Idrus Abdulahi and Majak Mawith populated the bench.

A host of senior players were managed ahead of next weeks elimination final including Ritchie De Laet and Jamie Maclaren.

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MATCH REPORT: Harrison double leads City's five-goal rout of Central Coast
'BETTER THAN ARZANI': Teammate talks up Ramy Najjarine after stunning goal

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When you factor in that four of City’s five goals came from players 21 and younger, the firepower manager Warren Joyce can call upon should make other teams sit up and take notice.

Joyce took time to point out the importance of the work players did behind the scenes as he addressed the media post-match.

“We talked about how a lot of them have worked tremendously hard helping to get a side out,” Joyce said.

19-year old Ramy Najjarine capped off the night with a thunderous strike.

“They have to be the opposition, they have to play certain ways that the opposition might play in training.

“It can be boring, it can be frustrating if you’re on the opposite side…they do the thankless task and they get on with it and do it.

“They deserved an opportunity tonight some of the players who haven’t started for a bit to throw their hat in the ring for finals football. That side that started tonight could have been our best side at the start of the season.”

The Englishman, who has come under criticism for his side’s inconsistency, said he was wasn’t surprised with the five-goal rout despite having lost in disappointing circumstances the previous week.

“Last week we played some really good football [but] give a couple of poor goals away and that distorts how people view the game but I thought the performance in Wellington was every bit if not better than tonight’s performance," he said.

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