Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold has confirmed star winger Adrian Mierzejewski will return for the Sky Blues against Perth at Allianz Stadium on Friday night (kick off 7:50pm).
Having seen the Polish marquee miss the first Derby of the season through injury, Arnold confirmed he was fit and ready to play while also promising a quicker start to matches than has been the case so far this season.
“Adrian is back in, he’s 100% fit,” Arnold said.
“I’ve got to decide in the next 24 hours whether he starts on comes on off the bench but he’s trained enormously well this week so he’s available for selection.
“There was never a tear [in his hamstring], it was just a bit of nerve but we’ve got a top medical team that have worked around the clock with him. He trained the house down on Wednesday and he’s 100% ready for tomorrow night.
“I do believe we’ve addressed it [our slow starts],” Arnold continued.
“[I’ve spoken] to some of the senior players about when they come back from warm up to kick off there’s a good 17 to 18 minutes so we need to do something in between that.
“[We] just need to make sure we’re re-focussed and ready. There’s a lot of communication early on in the game, keeping players switched on, but once they go over that white line they’re out of my hands for that moment in time so you need your senior boys to step up and take control and they will.
“For the senior boys [they need] to drive the start of the game and make sure once we’re on the pitch we’re ready to go and we will be ready to go tomorrow night.”
Arnold said he was thrilled to be playing in the Sky Blues third consecutive home match of the season, saying he’ll even be arriving earlier than usual to watch Sydney FC’s Westfield W-League squad kick off their season against Brisbane Roar (kick off 5:20pm).
“We’re playing in the best stadium in the country in front of our own fans and we haven’t had to travel,” Arnold said.
“We haven’t been functioning where we should be at, we’ve only been at about 30 or 40 percent of where our capabilities are but I’m expecting tomorrow night that we’ll put in a top performance against Perth. We’re at home and our fortress is strong.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea [the double headers],” he continued.
“Women’s football has come a long way in the past few years and Sydney FC have a very strong side with a star in Lisa De Vanna and I know I’ll be getting there early to watch them and I urge everyone else to get there as well.”
Sydney FC contest their first double header of the season at Allianz Stadium as the Sky Blues Westfield W-League squad kick off 2017/18 against Brisbane Roar before the Hyundai A-League squad face Perth in Round 4. Catch both matches live on Fox Sports or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.
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