Joe Lolley has been in Sydney for a season and a half now and the Englishman believes he is starting to feel at home despite never previously having played football outside of the UK.
Away from his family during the festive period, the attacker had a quiet gathering with friends and despite not getting to share the Christmas turkey with his family back in the UK, he is beginning to play some of his best football in a Sky Blue jersey.
This Friday, he will look to continue that form when his side welcome ladder leaders Wellington Phoenix to Allianz Stadium as part of a festive Doubleheader and he believes that his form is beginning to peak at the right time, but he can do better.
“I put myself in a position where I have worked hard and looked after myself a lot better and got used to the conditions of the league where you have to be fit and you have to be strong.
“I feel fit this year and I’ve felt at home and that has definitely helped me this season,” Lolley said.
“I’d still like to score more goals as I feel I am missing too many opportunities but the good thing is I’m getting in those posititions.
“Fingers crossed I can keep the form going that I’ve shown recently and keep adding more goals which is only going to help the team.”
This Friday, Lolley and his Sydney FC team-mates will take on Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium and is very wary of the challenge that the competition leaders can pose.
“They’re top for a reason. They’re organised and they’ve proven difficult to beat and always a threat on the counter.
“We’re expecting a tricky game and we will have plenty of the ball but it’s about us taking the game to them and breaking them down,” the Englishman said.
“We want to control games more and be more comfortable within the game itself.
“There’s a few things that we need to work on and hopefully we get those details right and if we can still have the same attacking impetus, but be stronger without the ball, then that will bode well for us.
“We need to make sure that for the 90 minutes we’re focused for the whole match and that’s what we need to put in a good performance and to get the right result.”
The 31 year old also took a moment to highlight the efforts of Fabio who scored his first home league goal last weekend in the 4-2 victory over Western United.
“He doesn’t speak much English but he was smiling this week so I think he’s happy but I would say it is more of a relief for him to get his first in a while.
“He deserved that goal for all the hard work that he puts in each week and that will boost his confidence as well,” he added.
“First and foremost we want to win and we want to do the job for the team but goals and assists is what you strive for as an attacking player and it breeds confidence and hopefully the goals now start to come.”
Lastly, the winger highlighted the tough home form that they appear to be changing in recent weeks.
“It hasn’t been the happiest of home grounds but we are here to change our home form.
“It’s such a beautiful stadium and we need to make sure that visiting teams hate coming here and we need to take the game to them and make this place a fortress and hopefully we can do that this weekend.”
Catch Joe Lolley as he looks to add to his two goal haul this Friday at Allianz Stadium.
Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix
Isuzu UTE A-League Round Ten
Friday 29th December 2023
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEDT
Gates Open: 4:30pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+
Tickets: Click Here
Matchday Partner: Navarra Venues