Confidence is high: Jamieson

Sydney FC defender Scott Jamieson says team confidence levels are riding high after a string of positive results, as the Sky Blues embark on a do-or-die five-match campaign to reach the top six beginning with rivals Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium this Sunday (5pm kick off).

21-year-old Sydney FC defender Scott Jamieson says team confidence levels are riding high after a string of positive results, as the Sky Blues embark on a do-or-die five-match campaign to reach the top six beginning with rivals Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium this Sunday (5pm kick off).

The Mariners and Sydney FC have contested 8 derbies in Gosford, with honours even at three-wins-a-piece and two draws. But after victories at Newcastle and against Gold Coast, and a dominant display over Melbourne Victory last weekend that ended in a draw, Jamieson said the boys in blue are itching to exact revenge against the Mariners after their last encounter in December.

“We-re pretty confident to be honest. We-ve had three positive performances and three positive results. We-re starting to play some very good football and with that comes confidence,” he said.

“We were very disappointed with (the 4-0 defeat in December) and ashamed we didn-t turn up for that match.

“But like I said the confidence and performances we-ve put in lately put us in good shape. Central Coast has had a good season so far and they are playing well, so it will be a good test.”

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka will again be without several key players this week as Mark Bridge and Hayden Foxe continue their rehabilitation, while Alex Brosque remains an outside chance to play after returning to training this week.

“Alex is close to being back but we must manage him because his injury could be very dangerous, so he needs maybe a couple of days more,” Lavicka said. Lavicka will however be able to call upon recently signed Finnish striker Juho ‘The Surgeon- Makela, who is quickly earning a reputation as a super sub after scoring two vital goals in as many games after coming on as a late substitute.

If The Surgeon manages to find the net this weekend, he will be the first Sydney player to score three matches in a row this season.

Lavicka believes the recent display of quality football and positive results has given his side the confidence and belief that they can extract maximum points from their final five regular season games.

“With better results comes better confidence. I am happy that we still have a good chance to reach the final six,” he said. “Mathematically it is a small chance but everyone is chasing to do it. We have to get a good result (against the Mariners), it-s a great challenge for us.”

Jamieson also revealed how delighted he and the rest of the squad were after hearing this week-s news that Lavicka will remain in charge throughout Sydney-s ACL campaign.

“It-s fantastic. I think he is a fantastic manager and I-m very grateful for him bringing me to the club. I-m really happy that he is staying and hopefully we can build on these results and do him proud.”

Sydney FC kick off against Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday at 5pm AEDT.

Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC Sunday, 23 January 2011 Bluetongue Stadium Local kick-off: 5:00pm Referee: Strebre Delovski Assistant referee: Sarah Ho and Rod Allen Fourth official: Gerard Parsons

Central Coast Mariners squad: 2. Daniel McBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11.Oliver BOZANIC, 13. Michael BAIRD, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 30. Paul HENDERSON. *three to be omitted*

In: Patrick ZWAANSWIJK (returns from injury), Patricio PEREZ (promoted), Josh ROSE (returns from injury), Adam KWASNIK (returns from injury) Out: Matthew LEWIS (not selected) Unavailable: Brad PORTER (knee - 8 weeks), Nik MRDJA (knee - 8 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee - season)

Sydney FC: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 10. Nick CARLE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 17. Matt JURMAN, 18. Juho MAKELA, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23, Rhyan GRANT, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS *three to be omitted*

In: Brendan GAN, Kofi DANNING, Rhyan GRANT (all promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Hayden FOXE (groin - 2 weeks), Mark BRIDGE (stomach - 1 week), Alex BROSQUE (groin - 1 week), Terry ANTONIS (knee - 3 weeks)

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 18): Central Coast Mariners wins 5, Sydney FC wins 8 (5 draws)