Sky Blues primed for top-of-the-table test

Since the start of the Hyundai A-League season Sydney FC Coach, Vitezslav Lavicka has taken an entirely considered approach and resisted attempts to quantify his side’s performances, remaining focused instead on gaining continual improvement from his players.


Since the start of the Hyundai A-League season Sydney FC Coach, Vitezslav Lavicka has taken an entirely considered approach and resisted attempts to quantify his side-s performances, remaining focused instead on gaining continual improvement from his players.

With only a handful of games gone in the 2009/10 title race that approach certainly hasn-t changed, but the Czech mentor admits Saturday-s Skilled Park clash will provide a good measure of how his team is travelling.

“We expect very tough game, very interesting game for the spectators,” he explained before Sydney FC-s departure for Queensland on Friday. “Gold Coast is very ambitious team - confident, but we have our style. Every game is very good test for us, especially against Gold Coast.”

After bursting from the gates in the opening three rounds, Gold Coast United suffered its first stumble last weekend against the Newcastle Jets. This weekend they will be without their marquee man, Jason Cullina as they battle to beat Sydney and return to the top of the table - but the Sky Blues still expect a torrid tussle.

“Cullina is a very good player, they lost him but we lost Terry McFlynn and maybe other players,” said Coach Lavicka. “That-s football, and we expect (an) interesting game tomorrow. (There are) many rounds to go, but we hope that we-ll be successful in this game.”

With McFlynn unavailable due to a thigh strain, Rhyan Grant appears the man most likely to take his place in Sydney-s Midfield after Stuart Musialik failed to overcome illness in time for today-s flight.

“Stuey Musialik was another option but he is out with stomach problems,” said Lavicka. “I think we decide after today-s session, but Rhyan (Grant) is very close to the starting lineup for tomorrow.”

A final decision will be made on the fitness of Sydney marquee, John Aloisi after the Sky Blues- final training session, this afternoon on the Gold Coast, but the 33-year old is expected to play.

Saturday's battle between the league-s top teams kicks-off at 5pm at Skilled Park, Robina.