No rush for Koren as Melbourne City learn from Engelaar blow
City, under the guidance of John Aloisi as Melbourne Heart last year, lost their international marquee Orlando Engelaar for six months after breaking his leg in a pre-season clash against Brisbane Roar.
The injury was a massive blow for the club, losing nine of it’s first 14 games of the season before winning six out of seven games following the Dutchman’s debut that put them into finals contention.
Koren was unveiled by City on Monday as their international marquee for the next two A-League seasons.
Despite next week’s FFA Cup clash against Sydney FC looming large, van’t Schip admits he will not be rushing his new signing into any competitive action without serious consideration.
“I can’t say anything about that (playing next week) now because he’s had just one training,” van’t Schip said.
“It was a training to start up, build-up training for the week and we have to see how he develops in the coming week and then we can consider if he’s ready or not.
“We have to be careful of course and learn from the past with Orlando.
“It’s important that he shows that he is very fit because he also has to be fit to make a difference on the pitch and that’s what we will look at.”
Koren joins the club after spending the last seven years in England – first with West Bromwich Albion and most recently as captain Hull City.
He played with Brisbane Roar defender Shane Stefanutto at Lillestrom in Norway for three years as well as former Heart player Richard Garcia at Hull.
The 33-year-old plays as a midfielder, with van’t Schip looking to deploy him as the advanced player in the centre of the park.
“He has attacking qualities, he can sometimes play as a false number nine but that’s not what we have him for,” the coach said.
“He’s going to play one of the advanced positions in the midfield and we know we can play him in different positions but that’s the position we will focus on.”
City have four spots left on their senior roster and the club will be looking to add at least one more player to the squad in the coming weeks.
“If we are going get one more in it’s going to be in a more defensive-thinking kind of position,” van’t Schip said.
“That could be defensive midfield or someone in the back who can play maybe as a centre-back. Robbie (Wielaert) and Patrick (Kisnorbo) were very vulnerable having only those two.
“We have some players behind that can back up like Ross Archibald but he’s very young. We have to make the squad as competitive as possible and that’s the position we’re looking for.”