Graham Arnold has no doubt marquee man Filip Holosko will be a Hyundai A-League smash hit as part of his “exciting” Sydney FC front line this season.
Holosko got his Sky Blues career off to a cracking start, scoring the equaliser in his side’s 1-1 draw against Melbourne City at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
It was never going to be an easy task to follow on from 16-goal Marc Janko of last season but Holosko has repaid the club’s faith in round 1 with a poacher’s goal.
It capped a solid debut performance from the Slovakian before he was substituted midway through the second half as fatigue set in.
“You’ve got a guy that’s come from a totally different competition, he’s got to get used to what’s around him,” Arnold said of his marquee man.
“As an attacker especially, it’s about fluency. If you’re playing around people you’re not familiar with, it’s going to take time.
“He needs to get used to the runs we want him to make. Once he got the goal and the second half, while he was out there he was very good.”
Holosko is just one part of a new-look Sydney strike-force this season, which also featured Milos Ninkovic, Shane Smeltz and Alex Brosque against City.
While they were well-marshalled for the most part by the desperate visitors, Arnold sees plenty of good signs for the campaign.
“I’m really excited about our front line. Ninkovic, he showed some absolute quality. You’ve got Brusque, Holsoko, you’ve got Shane Smeltz.
“Then there’s young George Blackwood, who I think has a hell of a future in the game and you can bring someone like Matty Simon on who can terrorise people.
“It’s an exciting front line. Defending is easy but the fluency with the ball will take time.
“In my history as a coach, we start slowish and we build into the competition. By December, January we hit our straps and come home with a wet sail.”
Arnold denied he was worried about his side’s defensive showing, which featured a few sloppy errors, including one by skipper Jacques Faty which led to City’s opener via Wade Dekker.
“When we went down 1-0 it can really hit your confidence but we showed great character to come back and play the way we did.
“We controlled the game a lot.
“…Its new players, a new league for [a lot of] them and adjusting to each other. As the game went on we got better and better. It’s a very promising start.”