Worst start in a decade: Change crucial for Sydney FC to end horror start

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A week filled with off-field drama for Sydney FC was further dampened in a 2-0 loss to Central Coast Mariners on Sunday evening in Gosford.

Sitting 11th on the ladder entering round four, Sydney FC have yet to make a statement on the league.

Head coach Steve Corica is dealing with his biggest challenge since taking the job, and his tactics are in the spotlight.

Sydney’s vulnerabilities were exposed on Sunday evening as Central Coast Mariners put on a clinic in front of their faithful in a 2-0 win. Central Coast ran rings around Corica’s men, piercing their defence with ease, Sydney fortunate of some missed opportunities that could have made the scoreline worse.

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Sydney’s defeat to Central Coast continues what has been their worst start to a season since 2010/11 when they went winless through their first 10 matches.

Despite their strike power up front, one goal from four games without victory leaves a large question mark hanging above the squad.

“We need to have some composure in front of goal. There’s plenty of goal-scorers in the side. It’s just getting in the right positions, creating chances and taking them when they come”, Corica said.

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Corica acknowledged his disappointment in his men in failing to withstand Mariners attack.

“I am disappointed obviously with the way we started. I don’t want to use the mid-week game as an excuse but we weren’t anywhere near where we should be”.

“We weren’t competing and were second to everything and we gave away cheap goals. We can’t afford to defend the way we did and give away the ball like we did”.

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Several off-field incidents seemed to trouble the mindset of the Sky Blues. Kosta Barbarouses is sidelined for six more weeks after fracturing his fibula, midfielder Luke Brattan is lost for the season following injury, Calem Nieuwenhof picked up gastro, and Rhyan Grant has been stricken with COVID-19, leaving the club in disarray.

A grueling 120 minutes against Macarthur in their mid-week FFA Cup clash with Macarthur FC was another factor. Sydney were sluggish and unsynchronised on Sunday evening but Corica isn’t blaming that.

The return of Brazilian striker Bobo from a calf injury was anti-climatic. He provided minimal assistance and was hooked at half-time.

Corica also wasted a triple substitution to begin the second half in Trent Buhagiar, debutant Patrick Yazbek and Kamsoba. His attempt to inspire his troops with a two goal deficit failed as all three showed little impact.

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“There’s a lot of things going on at the moment, though we do have enough quality in that dressing room to turn it around”.

“We will be looking for reinforcements if we can and we found the right players we will definitely bring them in”.

“We don’t have him (Luke Brattan) so we need to look for someone to replace him and maybe another player”.

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Corica still isn’t counting his men out just yet despite their horror start to the season.

“If you look at (Melbourne) City last season they lost the first four games. There’s a lot of hard work, a lot of looking in the mirror by everyone from myself to all the players coaching staff”.

“We look forward to the next game against Wellington because that’s the only time we can fix it is the next game”.

“It’s a long way to go but the results and performances need to start coming”.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Mitchell Roese
Mitchell Roese
Sports enthuse currently studying a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney. Covering the Central Coast Mariners 2021/22 A-League Season

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