Riley McGree says that goals are coming for Melbourne City, as his new side prepares for their first home fixture of the season against Sydney FC on Friday night.
The 19-year-old, who is on loan in Bundoora from Belgian side Club Brugge, fronted the media on Tuesday morning and declared that, despite having to rely on a late Dario Vidosic strike to earn a point on the road against Central Coast Mariners in round two, he was encouraged by his side’s performance on Saturday.
“I think our first half we were a little bit off and in the second half we came out and created chances,” McGree said.
“I think that the chances we created, we got a little bit unlucky when we weren’t able to put them away. There are positive signs there that we can take into the next game.”
Asked what City could do to start turning some of those chances into goals, McGree gave a simple answer.
“I think just composure,” McGree explained.
“We’ve obviously got finishers in the team, people who can score.
“Obviously Bruno can score many goals and he’s shown that most seasons. Once we start scoring, he starts scoring one, he’ll start scoring many more. The team’s capable.
“I think we did create the chances (against the Mariners) and we probably should have put away more than we did.
“It is what it is now, and we’ve got Fridays game to focus on and try to make it right.”
Dubbed ‘The Scorpion King’ thanks to his magnificent goal against his current side in the 2017-18 A-League semi-final, McGree found himself on City Head Coach Warren Joyce’s bench to begin the current season; the City gaffer pointing to the media commitments the youngster had to fulfil prior to the start of the season as the reason he wasn’t deemed up to starting in week one.
Although McGree quickly made an impact when he was brought on in that fixture, getting on the end of a Luke Brattan ball and slotting past Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas to net the matchwinner, he said on Tuesday that he thought Joyce had made the right call to exercise caution with his selection.
“Considering the circumstances, I think it was a fair call,” he said.
“Obviously, it was a bit disappointing – I wanted to start in the Melbourne Derby in the first game of the season – but I just had a positive mindset throughout the week after I knew.
“I wanted to come on and make an impact and I did.”
Both City’s men’s and women’s sides will welcome Sydney FC to AAMI Park on Friday night for the first of their doubleheaders this season.
City’s men failed to take a single point from the Harboursiders during the 2017-18 season, losing 1-0, 3-1 and 4-0 in the three encounters between the sides.
With the two sides equal on four points heading into round four, McGree, who by virtue of his offseason arrival from Newcastle Jets is free from the baggage that may be carried into the fixture by some of his teammates, is looking forward to the fixture.
“It will be a good matchup early on in the season,” he said.
“We’re confident, we’re going to approach the game like we approach every game.
“We want to go out there and we want to win; put in the work in the training ground and do our research.
“It should be good.”