Are Sydney’s midfield pair the key to success?

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With the loss of Josh Brillante, Sydney FC could have struggled in midfield this season but instead, they found an even better midfield partnership.

After losing two-time championship winner Brillante to Melbourne City, the main question was whether Sydney could find another partner in the middle of the park for Brandon O’Neill.

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With the arrival of Luke Brattan from City the potential was there to see but many considered Brattan’s defensive side to be weak.

After a dominant performance over premiers’ Perth Glory on Saturday, many consider the Sky Blues as favourites for another title with Brattan and O’Neill key to Sydney’s tempo.

O’Neill said working with Brattan was improving his game.

“Luke is a great footballer and has a great footballing brain”, he said.

“It makes my job a lot easier when you get to play with good football people.”

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Brattan has shown his quality so far with a positive passing game along with impressive defensive work.

It is O’Neill however gaining plaudits, he currently leads the league with three goal assists.

He puts this down to a change in mindset in his own game.

“I have worked hard with our strength and conditioning guru Chris Pappas in making sure I am not only a defensive midfielder but also a box-to-box player”, he said.

“I want to add that to my game and I want to add more goals and assists.

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O’Neill set up Kosta Barbarouses in Sydney’s win over Perth to prove his mindset change.

Asked whether there was better form to come from the defending champions, the 25-year-old said they were aiming to peak towards the end of the season.

“We want to make sure that we are playing consistent football,” he said.

“We want to hit our straps come the end of the season when it really matters come finals series.”

More performances like their 3-1 win over Perth will only increase the Sky Blues hype for silverware.

Feature image credit: Melbourne City

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Jordan Warren
Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.

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