Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold has praised the defensive performance of the Sky Blues after their inaugural FFA Cup victory over Melbourne City in Ballarat.
Arnold paid particular compliment to Sky Blues stars Corey Gameiro and Matthew Jurman as he lauded the display from the pair as key to winning in the freezing conditions at Morshead Park, with Gameiro opening the scoring on the 23rd minute and Jurman nullifying the Melbourne City attack.
“The boys did exceptionally well defensively,” Arnold said.
“We’ve worked a lot on our defence over the last six weeks. A good defensive mentality breeds confidence and last night was a good performance.
“I couldn’t be happier with the way the players are going and I have to give special mention to Gameiro who has done an exceptional job since I’ve been at the club and also Matty Jurman who I’ve had to play in the friendlies so far at right stopper, left stopper and left back,” he continued.
“Last night he [Jurman] was very good on Damien Duff. Duff was hardly able to do anything and had to change sides of the field so I think Matty Jurman is also doing exceptionally well.”
Not content with just making the Round of 16, Arnold pinpointed areas of the match that need improving as he reiterated the strength in numbers the Sky Blues possess and reaffirmed his philosophy of solely selecting players based on their form.
“There is no one to 11 at Sydney FC,” said Arnold.
“We have 21 players that are quality players and that creates a lot of depth. Your form will have to force me to select you and the players have got to try to better themselves every day and they can pick themselves.
“I don’t accept mediocrity, there’s things that happened last night that I wasn’t happy with and the players will see that on Friday when we’re back at training when we do our review of the game,” he continued.
“We have to do better, Sydney FC is a big club and there is a lot of expectation around the club and the only way you can get better is by raising your standards every day. That’s what I intend to do.”
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