Valkanis thrilled with Jakobsen's return

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The Danish centre-back helped Melbourne City to just their fourth cleansheet of the A-League season in Friday's win over Adelaide United

Melbourne City coach Michael Valkanis can't help but wonder what might have been if centre-back Michael Jakobsen had been fit all season.

Jakobsen made his first appearance in eight games on Friday night, helping City to just their fourth cleansheet of the 2016-17 A-League campaign as they defeated Adelaide United 1-0 at AAMI Park.

The Danish defender has missed 10 matches this term through a combination of muscle strains but has made a significant difference when he has played - City concede approximately half a goal less per game when Jakobsen is involved.

With the A-League finals just a fortnight away, Valkanis was thrilled by the prospect of having a fully fit Jakobsen again.

"He's trained well and we knew he'd get 90 minutes under his belt because he's a professional… I thought he had another very, very good game," Valkanis told reporters post-match.

City's boss added: "In the A-League, it's a salary cap.

"You've got a certain amount of players and the players that you bring in from overseas, you want Michael to be available and to play, and he makes a difference and when a player like that is unavailable it causes you problems."

Valkanis argued City thoroughly deserved their win over the Reds, which strengthened the prospect of the Bundoora-based club playing at home in the first week of the finals.

Tim Cahill Melbourne City v Adelaide United A-League 07042017

Tim Cahill, Melbourne City

Tim Cahill proved the difference, flicking on Nicolas Colazo's corner with a trademark header in the 36th minute to score his eighth goal of the season.

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"We know Timmy is a weapon but not only his header today but his performance on the pitch, his workmanlike attitude, his pressing, his work-rate off the ball… I thought he was exceptional and he did a very good job for us," Valkanis said.

City will finish the regular season with a trip to Perth Glory next Sunday.

 

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