Sky Blues keeping their heads out of clouds
SYDNEY FC coach Graham Arnold says extending his team's unbeaten home run is the only thing on his mind ahead of tonight's Big Blue against the Melbourne Victory at Allianz Stadium.
A positive result for the ladder-leading Sky Blues over their nearest challengers would almost certainly seal the Premier's Plate.
But Arnold said he was only focused on Kevin Muscat's side, which is eight points behind with six regular-season games remaining.
"The only thing we're looking at is winning the game on Friday night,” he said.
"It hasn't been discussed (winning the Premier's Plate) and it hasn't been thought about.
"We set our goals at the start of the year, 58 points is what we're looking at and the rest will take care of itself.
"We've got a good game coming up on Friday night and one that I appeal to all our fans to get out there, they can be our 12th man for us and help us bring them a trophy.
"For me it's just a round 22 game. We've got four games at home out of our last six, we've done exceptionally well away from home all season, we're undefeated at home and we expect that to continue on Friday.
"It's a game that we're looking forward to and very confident that we'll win.”
Arnold said his team showed last week with a 3-1 win over Melbourne City just how much belief was in the side, especially after the 1-0 loss in the Sydney derby the week before that ended the team's chance of an unbeaten season.
He praised his defence, which has only conceded 11 goals all season, but said it was not just the back four that should take the credit.
"We defend as a team, we've got 11 players that defend on the field,” he said.
"We defend from the front. There's been a huge percentage of goals we've scored this year from pressing high up the field and winning the ball back in the opposition's half and capitalising on their mistakes.
"That takes pressure off the midfield and backline and through to the goalkeeper, so it's a team effort.
"Mentally last week it was a great reaction after what we felt was an unjust result in the derby the week before.
"The reaction was fantastic and we move into the last half a dozen games before the finals series, so it's about getting better and better because the games are getting bigger and bigger.”