Two tough results on the road, and Sydney FC NPL NSW Head Coach Jim van Weeren is looking for resilience from his young squad with the end of the season in sight.
A defeat against Sydney United and a draw against Blacktown saw the Sky Blues move from first to fifth, however van Weeren said his squad have more than enough quality to score and see out games.
“After starting very strongly, we now see how challenging this competition is,” he said.
“A few less than ideal results, and we now find ourselves in a more challenging position. This is a good learning moment for us as a group.
“This will likely happen for these boys during their future careers, we must stay resilient and focus on our next performance against Rockdale.
“There are four matches left for the season and we will focus on one match at a time.
“We are still creating enough chances to win matches,” he continued.
“Ideally, we can convert more of the good opportunities we're creating. We need to ensure we don't make silly mistakes and stay focused for the complete match, so we don't concede avoidable goals.”
The Sky Blues face a well-drilled Rockdale side on Sunday, who’ve only conceded four goals all season, and van Weeren knows this will be another stern test of the Sky Blues’ credentials.
van Weeren also reflected on the ground sharing of Ilinden Sports Centre between the two clubs, with the fixture recently reversed to allow Rockdale to be the home team.
“I know Rockdale will be well-coached, they've not conceded a lot of goals this year and will be hungry to come out and secure another victory,” he said.
“They have a lot of match-winning players, and we will have to be at our best this week.
“Similar to playing APIA over the past few seasons, we share a venue with Rockdale.
“They're great hosts to us, but rightly so this week, they will want their club to win.
“We are comfortable with that. It is an interesting situation but one we look forward to.”
Sydney FC return to NPL NSW action against Rockdale City Suns at the Ilinden Sports Centre on Sunday (kick off 6:30pm AEST). Catch the match streamed live on npl.tv