Byun bolster Sky Blues ranks
Buoyed by a brace of victories in three games without defeat, Sydney FC will welcome back veteran defender Sung Hwan Byun from injury for Friday night’s clash against Gold Coast United.
Buoyed by a brace of victories in three games without defeat, Sydney FC will welcome back veteran defender Sung Hwan Byun from injury for Friday night-s clash against Gold Coast United.
But the Blues will go another week without playmaker Nicky Carle, and striker Mark Bridge will likely sit out this round after tweaking his hamstring last against the Brisbane Roar.
Coach Viteslav Lavicka said Bridge has been on a special training program and will only play if he passes a final fitness test.
“But if not we need to save him, it-s unlucky because we play on Friday so we have a shorter week this week. But Byun is back to full training so he will be available,” Lavicka said during training at Macquarie Uni on Wednesday.
“But as you see other players came on the park against the Jets last weekend and showed good quality, especially the younger players.”
In their brief A-League tenure Gold Coast United have not conceded defeat to Sydney on any of the four occasions the teams met, and Miron Bleiberg-s side are currently enjoying a nine-game unbeaten streak.
Lavicka is expecting a tough game from a side that boast the best defence in the A-League so far this season, conceding just seven goals in 12 matches.
“We saw the last two games they played away in Townsville and at Melbourne Victory and I have to say they played very compact in defence, very strong in midfield and a quick counter attack,” he said.
“When we played against them in Sydney this season we did a good performance but only drew against them, so now another challenge is coming for us.”
And Lavicka believes the challenge has come at an opportune time for his charges. After a long winless streak results are starting to turn in Sydney-s favour, as well as a bit of luck.
Defender Shannon Cole played a vital role in helping the Sky Blues to their second clean sheet of the season against the Jets last weekend, and while the winning goal was controversial Cole was quick to point out that Sydney has earned a touch of fortune.
“We had a couple of things early in the season which didn-t go our way. The Central Coast game we copped a bad decision and had to move on with it. I-m still not convinced (Moriyasu-s) ball was out, I haven-t seen the side-on angle yet, but we-ll take the three points and move onto the next one,” Cole said.
“(Gold Coast United) are a good team, it-s a hard trip to go there and we-ve got to stick to our guns. We didn-t have a great performance last week but we worked hard and got the result and we-ve got to try to do the same again this week, we-ve got to be switched on for the whole game.”
Sydney FC kick off against Gold Coast United at Skilled Park at 8.30pm (AEDT) this Friday night.