Graham Arnold admits he’s running out of patience with his misfiring side, promising changes to try and re-ignite Sydney FC’s stuttering Hyundai A-League campaign.
A flat Sky Blues outfit slumped to back-to-back defeats at home for the first time this season, beaten 2-1 by in-form Perth Glory on Saturday.
“We have to be honest it wasn’t good enough,” a disappointed Arnold said afterwards.
“I can only say to all the Sydney FC fans, I’m working longer hours than I have ever worked and I’m more determined than ever to fix this.
“The last month hasn’t been good, maybe some players have had too many chances and maybe it’s now time for changes.
“It’s the same thing, transition to defence… the same players not tracking players and it’s killing us,” he added.
“It’s been looked at, the players have been told, the video has been shown and it continues so changes will have to be made.”
Arnold was at a loss to explain the lethargic performance from his troops after a flawless week on the training pitch.
The home side only had themselves to blame for going behind at Allianz Stadium, with a shocking error by keeper Vedran Janjetovic gifting Andy Keogh a 23rd minute opener.
Chris Harold added a deserved second for Glory with 25 minutes left and while substitute Shane Smeltz pulled one back for Sydney late on, they never really threatened an equaliser.
“The first goal killed us. It knocked the confidence out of us and you’re then chasing the game and starting to do things you don’t do because our form over the last month hasn’t been great and a bit of panic starts to set in,” Arnold explained.
“This week we have the derby [against Western Sydney Wanderers] and surely the boys can get fired up for that. We owe our fans.
“[Janjetovic] is obviously down. But my job is to get them up as quick as possible and to turn this around,” the Sky Blues boss added.
The result sees seventh-placed Glory close within three points of the Sky Blues, whose finals spot is looking shaky heading into the final two months of the season.
And the club are about to enter a crucial period in their season, with three huge A-League games around two fixtures in the ACL.
Starting with the derby against the Wanderers next Saturday night, Sydney has five games in 15 days against Urawa Reds, Victory, Guangzhou Evergrande and Melbourne City.
While admitting this is the most challenging period of his coach career, Arnold insists he’s not under the pump.
“I’m not feeling any pressure at all. Pressure comes from what I put on myself because I have high standards,” he said.
“If the high standards are not met then this happens. Every coach goes through a difficult time in the A-League. This is probably the most difficult period to be honest that I’ve ever had in five years and I’ll come out fighting. I’m a fighter.
“The players have to do as their told and if they don’t they won’t play. To all the fans, keep believing, keep trusting, keep supporting because we’ll turn it around.”