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Dec 14, 2023   |  4:30PM AET

Players returning puts Talay in good place

Players returning puts Talay in good place

Ahead of the 64th Big Blue on Saturday night, Sydney FC Head Coach Ufuk Talay has welcomed three of his stars back to the side.

Having arrived at the club just over a month ago, Talay is yet to have a full squad at his disposal, however that will change this weekend for the trip to Melbourne Victory.

“The players are back which is a positive sign for the group.

“Having players back creates competition and this week has been good so far,” Talay said.

“Spirits are high and they have worked hard the last few days and I think that their response to what we’re trying to do an what we’re trying to achieve as been fantastic.

The boys compete for the ball in training

“Max [Burgess] and Jack [Rodwell] coming back helps on that side and having JK [Jaiden Kucharski] back too after his hamstring injury who did well against Adelaide and Wanderers is a positive.

“However, these players are still limited in what they can do within the game but having them back with the group is great,” he added.

Last weekend, the Sky Blues went down to 10 men early in the contest but still managed to create chances and were ultimately unlucky not to come away with anything in the match.

Kucharski in action against the Wanderers

“We stuck to the plan, we didn’t throw it out the window.

“I think you would’ve seen that even with 10 men the way that we played and that’s the way that we want to play this season which is aggressive without the ball and then have more moments to create goalscoring opportunities.

“One side that we want to improve on is obviously that final third and being able to capitalise in those moments, but there was a lot of positives to takes from that game,” Talay said.

“The players are taking on learnings and there will be mistakes when we play a different way with them adapting to it but through those mistakes it creates lots of learning moments.”

This weekend, with Andrew Redmayne suspended for this clash, it presents an opportunity for Adam Pavlesic to show what he can do.

“This is how careers are born.

“It’s a massive game against an opponent that’s doing very well at the moment and opportunities arise with suspensions and injuries and it is an opportunity for Pava [Pavlesic] to go out there and play.

In the league at the moment there is no player in more form than Melbourne Victory’s Bruno Fornaroli and Talay was quick to recognise his talent.

“Bruno is a great addition to the league and he appears to have come back to the days of when he was at City scoring goals.

Caceres in action against Fornaroli last season at AAMI Park

“It’s not how do we stop Bruno, but more how do we stop the ball from getting to him. However, the main focus is on us and how we want to play and how we want to dictate the game,” Talay said.

And with the additional bodies available for selection, Talay wants to give those in good form a chance to continue that.

“The players work hard during the week to wear the jersey on the weekend and they want coaches to be fair.

“They get the opportunity on the weekend and if they perform well, I think we need to give them that opportunity to do it again,” he said.

Courtney-Perkins in action against Victory in Round One

“Competition is important, it lifts the standards in training and games,” Talay concluded.

Sydney FC men will travel to Melbourne on Saturday before returning to take on Western United on the 23rd of December at Allianz Stadium.

Match Details

Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Isuzu UTE A-League Round Eight
Saturday 16th December 2023
AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Bold
Tickets: Click Here