From one former club to another, Sydney FC striker Shane Smeltz is already forgetting about the stalemate against the Perth Glory at the weekend and focussing solely on facing his first Hyundai A-League club, the Wellington Phoenix, on Thursday night at Allianz Stadium (kick off 8pm).
Smeltz lamented the heat at nib Stadium on Saturday afternoon and said the stalemate has only spurred the Sky Blues on to perform at their peak and showcase their skills against the Phoenix at home mid-week.
“It was difficult [the heat],” Smeltz said.
“I think the biggest thing is a lot of the stuff we worked on tactically, once the game kicked off, it sort of went out the window. Obviously I’ve done it before playing in Australia, in the A-League, but the foreigners it was their first experience and it was tough.
“You could see it when we had the drinks break, everything from the concentration levels to the fatigue, it just hits you hard. The brain slows up, certain things, certain runs that you’d normally do, touches on the ball, they’re not quite the same.
“We were looking for a bit of a reaction to the loss to Victory and we probably didn’t get that as much as we’d have liked because of the conditions,” he continued.
“As a group we’re throwing that game away and hopefully we’ll get the right reaction on Thursday night.
“We’ll do everything we can, it’s a quick turnaround. One good thing is that we want to get out and play because for us it wasn’t that enjoyable of a game.
“We want to get out there and show the fans the way we can play and from that side of it it’s fine, everyone is looking forward to the game and physically I think we’ll be ok as well.”
Smeltz said he’s looking forward to facing his former employers on Thursday as he said that while the opposition may be familiar with him, he too is familiar with them.
“I’ve faced them a number of time now since I left the club but I always enjoy playing against them,” Smeltz said.
“There’s still some players there from when I played with them. Looking at their centre backs, they know me well and I know them just as well. A lot of those players at that club know how I play but it’s vice versa.
“I had a great time at the club and they’ve got a bit of a soft spot with me. I always enjoying those games playing against old clubs,” he continued.
“For me when I came to the A-League, they were my first club, they were kind of the platform for me to do well in this league so I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for them.
“I know they’re a well run club and they’ve got some great people in and around the club and for me it would be disappointing to not see them in the league.
“I know there are two sides to the story but hopefully things can work out for the best for them.”
Sydney FC take on the Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night (kick off 8pm). Purchase you tickets today and be there to cheer on the Sky Blues in their mid-week clash!
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