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‘We can eat after the season’: A-League side forced to train on Xmas Day by Scrooge coach

Christmas can wait until the end of the season for Melbourne City, with coach Patrick Kisnorbo refusing to tolerate a drop in intensity over a busy festive period.

City meets Wellington Phoenix in a FFA Cup quarter-final at Casey Field on Wednesday night before travelling to Queensland for an A-League clash against Brisbane Roar on Monday at Moreton Daily Stadium.

In between the games, City’s training scheduled also includes a session on Christmas Day.

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“They (the players) will have some time with their family … a little bit of time,” an unapologetic Kisnorbo said.

“I’m probably not the most liked person amongst the wives and kids in the group, including my own wife and kids, but we need to train.

“In the UK it’s normal. I’m not saying we’re in the UK but due to the scheduling of the games, we have no other choice.

“We can always eat at the end of the season – Christmas in May.”

By then – in an ideal world for Kisnorbo – City will also have A-League and FFA Cup triumphs to celebrate.

City’s start to the season – the club is fifth on the ladder and five points behind leaders Macarthur – has Kisnorbo happy but wanting more.

Jamie Maclaren has been suspended for one match for dissent. Picture: Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images
Jamie Maclaren has been suspended for one match for dissent. Picture: Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty ImagesSource: Getty Images

“I think we’ve played really well. We need to improve in areas, which is always the case,” he said.

“If you look at the games we have played, it speaks for itself. We’ve been very good, sometimes unlucky, sometimes (there has been) a bit of naivety … you just keep trying to improve that situation and get better at it.”

Kisnorbo hinted at changes to City’s side for the Cup clash against Wellington in an attempt to keep his squad as fresh as possible.

“There could be some opportunities for players,” he said.

“It’s another game for us – it’s another opportunity. You want to do as best as you can in every game regardless of what scenario it is, or if it’s a Cup game, a league game … you treat every game with the same respect.”

Star striker Jamie Maclaren won’t be available for selection on Wednesday night after being suspended for one match following his late sending off for dissent in City’s 2-2 weekend derby draw with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Socceroos marksman Maclaren was found guilty of the “use of offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures against a match official”, a charge that has the minimum sanction of a one-match ban.

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