Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold says the Sky Blues have plenty in defence following the transfer of Matt Jurman to Korea during the week, ahead of Sunday’s clash away against the Central Coast Mariners (kick off 5pm).
Arnold dismissed any notion of defensive frailties following Jurman’s departure, saying he’s got more than enough cover at centre back.
The Sky Blues boss also hinted at the arrival of a new centre back, saying there had been a number of options put forward in the January transfer window.
“We’re happy for Matt that he’s achieved a life changing experience by going to Korea that will set him up for the rest of his life,” Arnold said.
“We’ve got a visa spot open and at this moment 20 players put forward, all current internationals for European clubs.
“We’ve got the money in the cap from Janjetovic and Jurman leaving it’s opened up a good amount to bring in a top central defender if need be.
“They’re not names that you would know, it’s just a matter of going through the processes again in the transfer window.
“At the moment we’ve got a very good combination in Seb Ryall and Alex Wilkinson, both have played eight games together and we’ve only conceded one goal with them. Aaron Calver is back and ready to go so we’re very comfortable at the moment.
“We’ve got two very good young central defenders in youth team in Patrick Flottman and George Timotheou who are both U20 internationals and training with us fully now and they will get the opportunity as well.
“It’s a situation we can move on, if we want, if something comes forward that is attractive.”
Arnold reaffirmed his belief that his squad can remain undefeated for the entire Hyundai A-League season and warned that his team would only continue to improve as the season goes on.
His next challenge pits him against the Central Coast Mariners and Arnold is yet to lose a game against NSW opposition in his two and a half seasons in charge at Sydney FC (P22 W18 D4).
“I think there’s no reason why we can’t go through the whole season like this [undefeated],” Arnold said.
“The frightening thing for myself is I know these guys are functioning on only 60%. I’m still waiting for the 95 minute performance. The performance last week was very good but it wasn’t great.
“The team is only functioning on 60% or 70% of their capability and the individuals know that. The great thing is the belief and togetherness in this group that they go into every game knowing they’ll win the game and that’s a huge thing when the players are like that.
“The whole intention every week to come to work is to win. When you have the belief in the group and togetherness miracles can happen,” he continued.
“I have a huge amount of belief in this playing squad, I know they have belief and trust in each other and the intent is to remain undefeated. Every week I’m reading teams want to beat us and every week it’s a different challenge to win the game.
“It’s about winning every week. At the moment there’s one game in front of us and that’s the Central Coast Mariners and they’ve got a beautiful stadium, beautiful pitch to play on and we’ll go up and win the game.”
Sydney FC travel to face the Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday 8 January (kick off 5pm). Catch the match live on Fox Sports or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.