Must-Win Game For Struggling Sydney FC

Image courtesy of perthnow.com.au
Sydney FC coach Frank Farina under mounting pressure. Image courtesy of perthnow.com.au

With just a point from its last four outings, seventh-placed Sydney FC can end a costly lean trot with victory over Central Coast , which sits three spots above it in fourth on the table. The Sky Blues' form since a 2-1 win over hapless Heart a month ago has been woeful. They're coming off a 1-0 loss in the Sydney derby, a 2-2 draw with Adelaide, a 5-2 thumping from Brisbane and a 1-0 defeat in Wellington. At a glamour club hell-bent on results, this form is unacceptable and the pressure is on coach Frank Farina to turn it around or face the revolving doors many other high-profile managers have passed through previously.

Perhaps the retirement of former Socceroo Brett Emerton can lift Sydney at Allianz Stadium. With 95 international appearances, Emerton is the third-highest capped Aussie behind Mark Schwarzer and Lucas Neill. The 34-year-old also made 486 appearances at four clubs here and in Europe, before injuries finally forced him to pull the pin on a career which began almost two decades ago for Sydney Olympic. A debilitating back problem robbed Emerton of a farewell appearance for Sydney, but maybe his presence in the stands can inspire team mates to find their mojo. The Sky Blues will also be buoyed by the return of Nicky Carle from suspension and the availability of Joel Chianese.

The premiers’ season has also been patchy of late with a 1-1 draw against Phoenix in Wellington and a goalless stalemate against bottom side Melbourne Heart. The Mariners are finding life tough without creative lynchpins Michael McGlinchey and Marco Flores. The Central Coasters may have been successful at home 1-0 in early December, but Sydney twice toppled the grand-final winners at Allianz last season.

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