Van't Schip believes win boosts Melbourne City confidence

John van't Schip’s Melbourne City faces derby rival Victory for a place in the grand final (Getty Images) Source: Getty Images Asia Pacific

Melbourne City coach John van't Schip says his team is finding the killer instinct in front of goal at the right time of the season.

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City upset Wellington Phoenix 2-0 in Sunday's A-League elimination final, gatecrashing the final four to set up a dream semi-final against Melbourne Victory.

It's the second time City has made the finals, its only other appearance resulting in a 3-0 loss to Perth Glory in a 2012 elimination final.

Fourth-ranked Wellington was an odds-on favourite to win, but was instead found wanting as the consistently inconsistent Melbourne City rediscovered its winning form at exactly the right time.

Coming off heavy losses to Perth and Adelaide United, fifth-ranked Melbourne now goes into Friday's home derby semi-final with a swagger in its step.

Van't Schip says a big part of that comes with the realisation that it can convert opportunities into goals.

Kennedy's strike, and an own goal set up by a sweeping counter-attack, provided a welcome boost in confidence.

"Those were the moments we actually punished them, and in the past we didn't," Van't Schip said.

"Just going back two weeks ago against Perth, we had a lot of those moments but we didn't put them away."

Tackling Premiers' Plate winner Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium will test City's new-found poise in front of goal, but Van't Schip doesn't believe the match will be the most important one of its season.

"There's going to be a bigger one, that's for sure," he said, targeting the grand final in two weeks against the winner of the Sydney FC v Adelaide United semi-final.

"But we have to approach it game by game, and the pressure's on them.

"They're the champions, they've had a great season and they've had good growth in their performance."

City has already beaten Victory this season, its 1-0 victory in December sandwiched between two heavy defeats - 5-2 in October and 3-0 in early February.

"This is a single game, it's a final, and we've shown in the past that we can get into those game."

Van't Schip also sees the short turnaround leading into Friday's game as an advantage, with Victory having had a two-week break since its Premiers' Plate-sealing 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners.

"It doesn't have a disadvantage, because we're in the rhythm of playing and the energy is good," Van't Schip said.

"We're going to be up for it on Friday - it's going to be a great game."