Sydney FC look to continue surge up the table

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Steve Corica is hoping for his side’s surprising run of form to continue on Saturday night in a blockbuster clash with league leader’s Western United.

Just under two weeks ago, a visibly fatigued Sydney FC outfit looked down and out after a horror week which saw them both bow out of the FFA Cup for the first time in a semi-final, as well as fall to a resurgent Perth Glory days later in just the Western Australians’ second win of the season.

Added to the Sydneysiders dour situation was the possibility of falling out of the A-League Men’s top six after recording just two wins and three draws from their first eight games.

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The Sky Blues, however, spectacularly turned their season around in the matches that followed, beginning with a hard-fought 2-2 draw in a daunting Big Blue derby away in Victoria.

Following a swift five-day turnaround, the club’s return to Leichhardt Oval saw them come from 2-1 behind to shore up a thrilling victory against Central Coast Mariners in the final 20 minutes of the game.

Finding themselves temporarily in first position after a 2-1 win against Adelaide United last week, up from sixth following their defeat to the Glory, Corica lauded the efforts of his players, as well as expressing a lack of surprise at their rapid surge up the table.

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“Adelaide was another fantastic performance, we showed great character in all three of those games,” he said.

“It doesn’t take much in the A-League [Men]. You know, you get a few results together and then you’re right up the table.”

Now having played the most amount of games in the competition amidst the scheduling nightmare caused by Omicron, equal with last week’s opposition on 11 matches, Corica expressed relief at the end of a tumultuous period for the club as others in the competition currently make up for lost time.

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“We went through that busy period when we played five or six games in 18 days, and that’s obviously a difficult time to pick up maximum points,” he said.

“But we’ve come out of it pretty well, and now the other teams have to go through that because we’ve played probably more games than anyone at the moment.”

Sydney will come up against league leaders Western on Saturday, who stormed home to their sixth victory of the season last week with a 1-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers.

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Speaking ahead of the top four clash at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, the Sky Blues head coach was quick to identify a prominent factor in the Victorian side’s flying start to the campaign.

“Well they’re top of the table, they deserve the respect and they’re doing a great job at the moment,” Corica said.

“They are winning a lot of games 1-0 so it just shows how strong they are defensively.

“So that’s obviously our challenge this weekend, to put a few past them.”

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Corica will undoubtedly be hoping the sudden burst of form from recently returned veteran Bobo, as well as the depth of the playing squad, will continue to shine through in their claim to reach the top of the table this week.

“It obviously helps having players back,” he said.

“Bobo is hitting form now off the bench and scoring three goals in three games now.

“It’s nice to have a lot of boys back because once everyone’s back, we do have a very good squad and good depth in the squad which helps as well, especially when you’ve got a busy period.

“But we’re looking forward to the challenge. Both teams want to be on top, they want to stay top and we want to be on the same points as them, and maybe be top as well.”

Feature Image Credit: Jaime Castaneda

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Jimmy Alexander
Jimmy Alexander
Covering Sydney FC for the 2021/22 A-League season. Studying a Bachelor of Sports Media (Journalism) at Charles Sturt University.

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