Arnold's Squad Insights Ahead Of ACL Clash

Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold has confirmed he’s not expecting to make any changes to his squad ahead of Wednesday night’s AFC Champions League clash away against Shanghai Shenhua (kick off 11pm AEDT).

The Sky Blues’ boss heralded his starting eleven and heaped praise on youngster Aaron Calver who returned from injury to slot into the start side last week against Suwon Bluewings at Sydney Football Stadium.

“At the end of the day I’ve got a side here that I believe will win the game and that’s the starting eleven,” Arnold said.

“The starting eleven has done a wonderful job for us the last two years, especially this season, and for me it’s just any other game.

“It’s round two of the Champions League, we prepare as normal, it’s about trusting our habits and trusting each other.

“The boys have a lot of faith and trust in each other that tomorrow night again we expect to win the game.

“Our game plan will be to proactive, to be dominant in possession, to be to press in the right area and our principles won’t change.

“I thought Aaron Calver was excellent last week,” Arnold continued.

“He started off nervous the first five minutes, but after that he was outstanding. We conceded a goal from a long range shot and a goal off a penalty so those things happen in football.”

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Arnold praised Aaron Calver for his performance in Matchday 1. Photo by Jaime Castaneda

Arnold dismissed the previous week’s result against Suwon Bluewings and ignored any suggestions the home side were facing pressure, focussing solely on the Sky Blues and their preparations in China.

“[The] priority is winning every game, we expect to win every game,” Arnold said.

“We go on the field expecting to win every game, tomorrow night is no different to the other 50 games we’ve played the last two seasons.

“We don’t reflect on what the opposition is doing or saying. All I can do is look at what players they’ve got on the field and we analysed the Kashima game very well.

“I have a lot of belief in our players, we’ve got a great team, we’ve shown that in the past and we’ll show that again tomorrow night.

“When you lose you learn, when I analysed the game the first 68 minutes there was nothing between both teams,” he continued.

“All the stats showed that it was a nil nil game. In the big moments we let ourselves down a little bit but you learn those things from a loss and I’ve picked up a lot from that game and we move forward.”

Sydney FC take on Shanghai Shenhua in Matchday Two of the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night (kick off 11pm AEDT). Catch the match live on Fox Sports 501 or get down to the Sky Blues’ Official Home Away from Home at The Star, Sydney and join like-minded Sydney FC fans.

 

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