Full steam ahead for Talay

Ufuk Talay speaks to the press ahead of the clash with Macarthur

Despite securing finals football, Ufuk Talay is not going to be changing the way that his side set up against Macarthur on Saturday night.

He is going full steam ahead into the fixture which will have a big bearing on who finishes where inside the top six.

The Sky Blues can reach as high as third with Melbourne Victory currently sitting three points above them, although Sydney FC have more wins and would move ahead of them should they draw level on points. With teams jostling for the final spots below them in the table, Talay is not looking at gaining a specific number of points to avoid a certain opponent.

Head Coach Ufuk Talay on the side line

“At the end of the day, you still need to play the Elimination Finals, you still need to beat the team that you are playing against and if we start to think that we are smarter than the opponents and we need to get ourselves in that position etc. then it doesn’t bode well.

“The reality is that we want to finish as high as possible and whoever comes up against us, we will still need to win that game,” Talay said.

“We focus on ourselves and what we’re going to do. The opponent doesn’t dictate how we play, we try to dictate the terms of how we want to do things.”

The squad mentality has been excellent this season

Last weekend, the Sky Blues scored a 98th minute winner to topple their city rivals Western Sydney in a pulsating Sydney Derby that saw Academy graduate Jaiden Kucharski score the goal in front of The Cove.

It was their first win at the new Allianz Stadium against the Wanderers and one of the biggest celebrations that the stadium has ever seen.

With plenty of emotion in the air that night and a good feeling spreading through the players, staff and fans, Talay explains how it is important to not get carried away and dwell on that result for too long while still using it for positives.

“In football you don’t have a lot of time to enjoy wins because you have another game coming up pretty quickly so that game is done and dusted and we got the result we needed to solidify our spot in the top six.

“Winning breeds confidence but also winning gives us the opportunity to be able to fix certain little details that we need to fix within the game and it makes it a lot easier in the sense that the players are a lot more reciprocal when you do win and show ways that we can improve,” he added.

“The reality is, the focus shifts very quickly in football and we’ve got a very important game against a very good opponent.”

Lastly, Talay will welcome back his Slovakian international Robert Mak but is wary of the challenge of Macarthur.

Robert Mak is back available for selection

“Robbie has done well for us and we’ve been very consistent in what we’ve done and how we select the squad and he will be available for selection against Macarthur and we’ll make that decision on how he fits into things again.

“I think it is going to be a good game. Both teams want to finish the season on a high and for us we have two games to go.

“We want to get all six points that we can and finish in a very good spot leading into finals and they’re a good side and even though they are missing a few players through suspension, the focus is on us and how we do things,” Talay concluded.

Three points in this fixture would go a long way to securing a home Elimination Final which would be achieved by finishing 3rd or 4th.

Match Details

Macarthur FC v Sydney FC
Isuzu UTE A-League Round 25
Saturday 20th April 2024
Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Campbelltown, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEST
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Bold
Tickets: Click Here