Graham Arnold believes his squad have the mental capacity to overcome any off-field issues in Friday night’s clash with the Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium.
A planned boycott of the game by the Sky Blues active supporter group The Cove, in protest at their treatment by Football Federation Australia dominated today’s press conference.
“It can only affect a mentally weak group, we’ve got a strong group mentally and all we’re concerned about is three points against Newcastle on Friday night and lifting our performance,” he said.
“Our performances have been good but not great. Even last week against Wellington defensively again we were outstanding, they had one shot on goal, and we should have scored more goals.
“It’s time to be ruthless in front of goal and kill the games off or take control of games,” he continued.
“We’re dominating games in terms of possession and playing in the opposition’s half and it’s a matter of now capitalising on our good play and that will then breed more confidence and the team will get better and better as we go.
“We’re now in to round nine, players have had plenty of chances now and we’re working and gelling better and better each week.”
Arnold also encouraged FFA and all A-League football supporters to enter into talks to bring an end to their dispute while he also questioned why football is the sport always targeted by media controversy.
“Why is football always the sport to get bashed,” Arnold said.
“There are plenty of other things in other sports that get swept under the table.
“It’s totally different to Rugby League, it’s totally different to other sports. It’s a worldwide sport, Australia’s multicultural and the people have the blood of other countries in their line that are passionate about football and for me that’s the biggest thing.
“I saw Mark Bosnich’s thing on TV the other night and how passionate he is about getting things fixed and he’s 100% right.
“Without the TV rights and without the fans there is no game in this country. It’s something you want to go away very quickly.
“I don’t think anyone condones misbehaviour at games. If there is misbehaviour you would hope that the FFA get it right and if they get it wrong well then the fans have a right to a hearing to say that.”
Sydney FC take on the Newcastle Jets on Friday night at Allianz Stadium (kick off 7:40pm). Leave the office early and herald in the weekend with a night of football.
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