Perth Glory
Sydney FC
Hyundai A-League R25
HBF Park

Arnold targets Sky Blue greatness

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold wants his in-form team to finish the current Hyundai A-League season as the greatest Sky Blues outfit of all time, even if they fail to win any silverware.

Speaking after his side cruised to a 3-0 win over Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Friday night, Arnold said he had set his side a number of team-oriented targets to achieve before the season comes to a close in two weeks.

Strangely those targets do not include winning the A-League premiership or championship despite the Sky Blues being nicely positioned to challenge for both.

WRAP: Perth Glory 0 Sydney FC 3

Sydney moved to second on the table behind Melbourne Victory on goal difference, but Arnold is not thinking about the prizes on offer for his side over the next two months.

“I’ve set targets and I’ve set goals to the team, but it’s got nothing to do with finishing first, second or third,” Arnold said.

“I want this team to create history at Sydney FC and we’ve already done that with the goals that we’ve scored this year. The most was 41, we’re now 46.

“(I want) 10 clean sheets and tonight was our ninth and (we want) to try and beat the best ever total points which is 48. If we can do that, we’ll be the best team Sydney FC has ever had and then wherever we finish, we finish.”

Arnold was delighted with his side’s dominant performance against Perth, revealing post-match he was concerned his players were too distracted by the penalties handed out to Glory for breaching the salary cap earlier on Friday.

“My players were talking about it at our pre-match meal and I had to refocus them and pretty much tell them it’s got nothing to with us,” Arnold said.

“I thought tonight was a very, very good performance from us. We created a lot of chances and what I’m very happy about of late is we’re creating our own chances and we’re not relying on mistakes from the opposition to score goals.

“We’re doing everything ourselves with good combination play and good penetration and some great finishing.”

The win took Sydney’s unbeaten streak on the road to 12, including 10 wins, and Arnold said that was a reflection of the effectiveness of his team’s routine preparation for all games in recent times.

“We try not to change anything for any game – we even stay in a hotel in Sydney before home games to create the same routine for the players on match day,” Arnold said.

“For me it doesn’t matter if we play at home or away, we always try to play the same way and expose weaknesses in the opposition and nullify their strengths.

“I’ve always got confidence in this group of boys that on our day we can beat anyone so whether we are away or not, it doesn’t matter.”

Sydney will regain Shane Smeltz from suspension for next Friday’s clash with the Newcastle Jets and could also welcome Mickael Tavares (groin) back into the fold.

Arnold was hopeful Terry Antonis would recover from a knee injury in time for the first week of the finals.

Hyundai A-League 2018/19
# Club P W D L PTS
Perth Glory 26 17 6 3 57
Sydney FC 26 16 4 6 52
Melbourne Victory 26 14 5 7 47
Adelaide United 26 11 8 7 41
Wellington Phoenix 26 11 7 8 40
Melbourne City FC 26 10 7 9 37
Newcastle Jets 26 9 5 12 32
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 26 6 6 14 24
Brisbane Roar FC 26 4 6 16 18
Central Coast Mariners 26 3 4 19 13
# Club P W D L PTS
Melbourne Victory Women 12 7 3 2 24
Brisbane Roar FC Women 12 6 2 4 20
Sydney FC Women 12 6 1 5 19
Perth Glory Women 12 5 4 3 19
Melbourne City FC Women 12 6 1 5 19
Adelaide United Women 12 5 3 4 18
Newcastle Jets Women 12 5 1 6 16
Canberra United Women 12 3 4 5 13
Western Sydney Wanderers Women 12 1 1 10 4
Group A
# Club P W D L PTS
Brisbane Roar FC Youth 8 5 1 2 16
Melbourne City FC Youth 8 5 1 2 16
Perth Glory Youth 8 3 2 3 11
Adelaide United Youth 8 3 1 4 10
Melbourne Victory Youth 8 1 1 6 4
# Club P W D L PTS
Western Sydney Wanderers FC Youth 8 6 0 2 18
Sydney FC Youth 8 5 0 3 15
Central Coast Mariners Youth 8 5 0 3 15
Newcastle Jets Youth 8 3 1 4 10
Canberra United Youth 8 0 1 7 1