With Ryan McGowan away with the Socceroos, defender Ben Warland is primed to step in and uphold the Sky Blues' solid defensive record with the Finals Series fast approaching.
We caught up with the Sky Blues' centre back to see how much he's looking forward to the next few weeks, and what he's expecting this Saturday against the Roar.
You’ve got a chance to step up now with Ryan McGowan away, how much are you looking forward to the challenge?
Yeah I’m really looking forward to it. It’s the business end of the season and I think I’m more than capable of stepping in. Ryan has had a fantastic season so I just hope to come in and keep going where he left off.
You’ve played a bit this season, are you expecting an easy transition into the backline next to Captain Alex Wilkinson?
Yeah I think Wilko makes anyone that comes in look like they play well. He’s got a wealth of experience and that rubs off on the player that plays next time him so I think it’ll be a seamless transition into the centre back role for myself and hopefully I do everyone proud.
We’ve seen you play a couple of roles in the backline, is there one role that you prefer?
I do prefer centre back, I’m more comfortable there and it’s my main position, but I’ll play wherever the coach wants me to play, I just want to be out on the field.
Do you feel any pressure heading into the Finals Series?
No not really. We obviously want to win everything. I don’t put too much pressure on myself, I just go out there to play freely and I just enjoy playing so I’m just more than happy to be out there.
What would it mean to wrap up second spot on Saturday against Brisbane?
It’d be massive. A fair few of the boys have played a lot this season so it would be good to have the week off an refresh and get ready to go for a home Semi-Final.
What are you expecting against Brisbane?
I think it’ll be tough, they’re still fighting for a place in the Finals and it’ll be hot up there as well. The conditions suit them but we’re more than ready to wrap up that second spot.
Lastly, is there a club in that Top 6 you’d like to play in the Semi-Final more than others?
At the moment Adelaide I think. We just beat them 4-1 and if they stay in the Top 6 it’d be nice to knock my home team out.
Sydney FC play their final match of the A-League regular season away against the Brisbane Roar on Saturday (kick off 3pm AEST). Catch the match LIVE on Fox Sports and streamed on Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.