Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold said he’s proud of his Sky Blues outfit as he reflects on the positives following Saturday’s first defeat of the 2016/17 season.
Enjoying a 19 game undefeated start, Arnold called for a reaction on Friday night away against Melbourne City, with the Sky Blues boss eager for his side to replicate their performance in the opening half hour in the derby.
“I’m proud of them, one loss in 20 games, if we do that again I’ll be extremely happy,” Arnold said.
“You only can look at the positives of where we’re at. Last year Adelaide won the Premiership with 48 points, with seven games to go we’re on 47, so we’ve done exceptionally well.
“I thought that the first half hour is a key indicator for me the other night. If we can play like that for 90 minutes no one in this league will get close to us. We were outstanding in that first half hour, the Wanderers reverted to a long ball game to turn us around.
“We controlled 90% of that match but again for whatever reason it was it wasn’t our night. We know that if we perform like that we’ll win all our matches.
“We had a fantastic journey and it wasn’t one of our goals at the start of the season was to be Invincibles,” he continued.
“The first goal was the Premiership, then that gives you a very good chance as history shows to win the Championship and then to win the FFA Cup. We did well in the cup to get to the final, we’re doing well, we’re in a great position at the moment and we will get better and better.
“It’s a matter of finishing off our chances, moving forward, and we’re looking forward to Friday night. It’s time to reboot, re-kick and get a reaction.”
Arnold said his players haven’t taken the defeat to heart, as evident in this week’s training sessions, as he stressed the importance of the remaining eight games in the league and Finals Series.
“If you’d seen our training sessions the last few days it’s been top shelf, you’d never have known that we lost a game,” Arnold said.
“It’s no crime to lose, we felt we were the better team, we felt we deserved the points on the night, the statistics shows that we were the better team so therefore we move forward.
“The next eight games are important, the six in the league and the two finals games. We don’t look at the next two as being important, we look at the next eight and the first one is on Friday night and it’s about winning on Friday.
“City had a great result against Wellington, it’s never easy to go over there, but at the end of the day we’d rather look at ourselves, make sure our performance is right.
“We can’t control anything they’re doing, we just have to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”
Sydney FC return to Hyundai A-League action away to Melbourne City on Friday 24 February at AAMI Park (kick off 7:50pm). Catch the match live on Fox Sports or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.
Sydney FC Finals Run Flexi Now Available – Choice of any 3 of the last 4 home matches from $40 for Juniors and $75 for Adults. Visit www.sydneyfc.com/finalsrunflexi