Following a lengthy lay off, few would be relishing facing close opposition in their first game back, but Head Coach Steve Corica is reveling in the prospect of hosting third placed Wellington Phoenix in their return game on July 17.
Corica said three points in the club’s first match since March would go a long way to wrapping up a record fourth Hyundai A-League Premiership, as he noted that the similar playing style between both clubs would play in the Sky Blues’ favour.
“It’s perfect timing to face Wellington, if we beat them we go even further ahead of the pack and very close to clinching the Premiership,” Corica said.
“That’s the perfect start for us, I’m looking forward to it, it’s been a long time out and the boys are keen to get back into it and play a proper game.
“They’re a good team [Wellington]. Uffie [Head Coach Ufuk Talay], has them playing very well and playing very similar to the way we play. We know exactly what they’re like because we pretty much do the same every day in training.
“They’ve got some good attacking players that we need to stop, which we’ve seen in the first two games,” he continued.
“If we can do that and defend well and play a good style with the ball we’ll go close to winning the game.”
Corica said he was thrilled with the squad’s preparation to date, while he also praised frontman Adam Le Fondre who returned to goalscoring action in the club’s two in-house training matches.
“I’m really really happy with the ways things are going,” he said.
“We’ve had to step the players up a lot quicker than we’d like to, we’ve only got the four weeks so we stepped them up pretty quick and they’ve responded pretty well.
“They’ve realized during the down time that they need to do their work and they’ve all come back better for it.
“They’re still building into it but physically we’re in a lot better shape two weeks in than we were in pre-season two weeks in.
“They’ve played two games, we’re slowly building them up to 90 minutes but they’re improving each week and you can see the difference. Another couple of weeks and they’ll be ready to go..
“I think it was good for Adam [Le Fondre] to score and get back into the groove,” Corica continued.
“We had a very high scoring game on Saturday. There was some very good football and goals in that game and we’ll improve again next week.
“Preparations are going really well and lets hope they keep going that way.”
Sydney FC return to Hyundai A-League action on Friday 17 July against the Wellington Phoenix.