Arnold anticipating stronger Sydney


CENTRAL Coast Mariners mastermind Graham Arnold expects Sydney FC to take to the Allianz Stadium surface on Thursday night as a more organised outfit than when the two teams last met.

Graham Arnold

CENTRAL Coast Mariners mastermind Graham Arnold expects Sydney FC to take to the Allianz Stadium surface on Thursday night a more organised outfit than when the two teams last met.

The Sky Blues were given a football lesson at Bluetongue Stadium in Hyundai A-League round 5, with the Mariners crushing the A-League-s cellar dwellers 7-2.

But, Arnold believes he is seeing signs that his former Qantas Socceroos teammate and coaching colleague, Frank Farina, is making progress with the men from Moore Park.

“One thing about his (Farina-s) teams are that they are well organised,” Arnold said on Boxing Day. “He-s doing a good job down there at Sydney, I think you can already see the improvement in the side.”

“I think there will probably be a bit of talk in their dressing room about revenge after the last occasion we played them.”

“We-ve got to make sure we-re on our game. We-ve got to be mentally and tactically prepared for the game. Physically, both teams had a game four days ago, so it-s the same for both of us and we-ve just got to go out there and do what we can do.”

Arnold said Central Coast shouldn-t count on the Sky Blues being as simple to breakdown in Sydney, as they were in Gosford on November 3.

“It-s a whole new occasion,” Arnold said. “That night we were red hot and we were playing at Bluetongue.”

“They-re at home this time and they-ve got a different manager in charge now.”

“Frankie is a wonderful coach and no doubt Sydney will end up getting up the table. We-ve got to try and make sure it-s not tomorrow night.”

While the Mariners- journey from Wellington back to the Central Coast was delayed a day due to thick fog preventing flights leaving the windy city, Arnold said his side-s extended stay in the New Zealand capital had some upside.

After altering their schedule and training in Wellington on Monday morning, Arnold gave his squad a full day to enjoy Christmas with their families and friends.

“It made the players happy that they could spend a whole day with their families at home,” Arnold said. “It wasn-t the ideal situation getting stuck there for another 24 hours, but at the end of the day you can-t control what happened and you-ve just got to get on with things.”

With Pedj Bojic suspended, Arnold has decided to deploy Zac Anderson alongside Patrick Zwaanswijk in the heart of the Central Coast defence, with versatile defender Trent Sainsbury shifting to right back.

“When Zac came in and Patrick (Zwaanswijk) was suspended, Zac did a fantastic job in the middle,” he said. “So just the one change, everyone else is fit and healthy.”

Central Coast Mariners Squad vs. Sydney FC: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 5. Zachary Anderson, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson, 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 9. Bernie Ibini, 10. Tomas Rogic, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 13. Brent Griffiths, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 15. Brad McDonald, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 17. Anthony Caceres, 18. Nick Montgomery, 19. Mitchell Duke, 20. Justin Pasfield, 21. Mile Sterjovski, 23. Adam Kwasnik *five to be omitted*

In: 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 13. Brent Griffiths, 15. Brad McDonald, 17. Anthony Caceres, 23. Adam Kwasnik (all promoted)

Out: 4. Pedj Bojic (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 22. James Oates (Ankle – 2 months)

Sydney FC Squad vs. Central Coast Mariners: 2.Sebastian Ryall, 3.Fabio, 5.Nathan Sherlock, 6.Jason Culina, 7.Brett Emerton, 8.Adam Griffiths, 10.Alessandro Del Piero, 12.Blake Powell, 14.Mitch Mallia, 15.Terry McFlynn, 17.Terry Antonis, 20.Vedran Janjetovic (Gk), 21.Yairo Yau, 22.Ali Abbas, 23.Rhyan Grant, 26.Peter Triantis, 30 Anthony Bouzanis (Gk) *two to be omitted*

In: Jason Culina (returns from injury), Mitch Mallia (promoted)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: Pascal Bosschaart (calf, 3 weeks), Ivan Necevski (ankle,4 weeks ), Paul Reid (adductor, 2 weeks)

Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners – Hyundai A-League Round 13
Thursday 27 December, 2012
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 7:30pm
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official hash-tag is #SYDvCCM
Transport: Thanks to Coastal Liner, Central Coast Mariners will run official supporter buses to the match. CLICK HERE to book your seat today!