As the season reaches the pointy end, Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold has likened the run in to the Finals Series as a “mini-tournament” as he prepares to face Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium on Saturday (kick off 5:15pm).
With five games remaining in the regular season, Arnold is confident of finishing in a Finals Series place as he called for a replication of the form that saw the Sky Blues overcome the reigning Champions of Asia, Guangzhou Evergrande.
“What’s happened over the first 21 weeks of the A-League is now history,” Arnold said.
“We’ve got five weeks and I look at these five weeks as a mini-tournament and if we can do well in the mini-tournament over the next five weeks then we’ll end up in a good place.
“That’s the challenge for the players. There’s still five games to go, when you look at the draw everyone has to play everyone, but we’ve got three games at home which is great, so our goal is obviously out of the five games to win all five and if you do that you’re in the top two.
“It’s about replicating what we did last Wednesday night against Guangzhou, remaining positive and looking forward,” he continued.
“If we play the same way we played against Guangzhou, the way we played against Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory, and for 60 minutes against City, then we’re in good stead.
“The thing at the moment is scoring goals, but we’ll work on that this week. Everyone is a little down at the moment but I feel upbeat because I see a real good spirit in the team in every game we’ve been in, we’ve fought hard and worked extremely hard.
“We’ve still got our destiny in our own hands if we win our home games and it starts this Saturday against a dangerous Wellington Phoenix.”
Having dropped out of the top six at the weekend Arnold said it’s a fresh challenge for him, though he said his focus wouldn’t waiver from delivering results for the Sky Blues faithful.
“This is a new challenge for me,” Arnold said.
“It’s probably the first time in five years I haven’t been in the top six during a season so it’s a new position for me but I enjoy the challenge.
“For me it’s about keeping the players happy, keeping them focussed and making important what the main thing is and that’s winning games for our fans.
“We’ve got great fans, they’ve been extremely supportive and they’ll continue to do so.”
Sydney FC take on Wellington Phoenix on Saturday at Allianz Stadium (kick off 5:15pm). Tickets are still available, purchase yours today and be there to cheer the Sky Blues on to rise above the Nix.