Sydney FC vow ‘siege mentality’ at Suncorp

Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold says he’s worked his unbeaten team even harder this week, and has vowed a “siege mentality” when they face Brisbane Roar on Friday night.

Sydney FC’s impressive Australia Day win over Melbourne Victory opened up an 11-point lead at the top of the ladder with just 10 games left.

Despite their unstoppable season, Arnold is demanding more from his side as they aim to go through the entire season undefeated.

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Starting on Friday night in Brisbane against the in-form Roar in third spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

“We’ve worked them extremely hard [this week] because I wasn’t that enthusiastic about our performance in Melbourne.

Sydney FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic holds off his Victory defender during the Big Blue at Etihad Stadium.

“I thought that what we needed to do we got done to win the game but this week is a different challenge up in Brisbane,” the Sky Blues boss said on Wednesday.

“Against Melbourne [Victory] it was a game in the middle of the park. It was a dogfight and we won the dogfight.

“Our football performance wasn’t to our standards in keeping the ball and creating our own chances and playing the way we want to play.

“It’s about us going up there with the siege mentality of us against the rest and making sure we put in our best performance.

“And I do believe we are in a great mental state, our confidence is extremely high and we’re going up there expecting to win the game.”

The Sky Blues have one selection dilemma to deal with for Friday night with in-form left-back Michael Zullo out through suspension.

But that absence is eased by the fact Rhyan Grant returns after serving his one-game ban.

Defence: Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC)

“As we showed last week, we’ve got plenty of depth and cover,” said Arnold.

“I’ve got David Carney, who’s played 46 times for the national team and has played probably 40 of those games at left-back.

“I’ve got Rhyan Grant who can play at left-back and [Aaron] Calver can stay at right-back.”

As for Roar, their midweek 6-0 ACL qualifying win over Global FC, Brisbane has set up a tantalising showdown with Carlos Tevez and Shanghai Shenhua next week.

Roar will fly out for China shortly after the clash with the Sky Blues in a winner-takes-all showdown to make the ACL group stage.

With that in mind, Arnold believes the home side might take their eyes off the challenge of trying to topple the Hyundai A-League leaders.

“It can be [a distraction]…but I’m not bothered. Whatever they put in front of us, we have to win,” Arnold said.

#BRIvSYD - Sydney FC have played just four Hyundai A-League Friday fixtures since the beginning of 2016 and are undefeated in those clashes.

“It’s a short turnaround for them, they’ve got a long flight to Shanghai and are playing against a very strong team that would have a lot of ambition to be in the Champions League.

“And no doubt that’s Johnny’s [Aloisi] ambition as well as Brisbane’s.

“I saw he rested a lot of players last week and they’ve got a huge game for Australian football next Tuesday in Shanghai.”