Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says he’s not interested in talk about the Premiership but wants his team to strive to be the greatest-ever club in league history and hit the 57 point mark in the regular season.
After defeating Melbourne Victory on Australia Day at Etihad in an arm-wrestle of a clash, Sydney FC made a statement of clear intent by seeing off their nearest rivals to sit 11 points ahead at the top of the league.
The general view is the Sky Blues are a certainty to win the Premiership trophy with 10 rounds left.
Though Arnold, typically, is playing down talk and wants to focus on his team improving even further.
“We have 30 points to go,” he said, adding he was not happy with his team’s overall performance.
“And it’s good to hear the boys say they felt they didn’t play anywhere near their best. And to still come down here and win 2-1 is a great sign.
“But we have a lot to work on. For me, it’s about getting better each week and we want to be peaking at the right time.
“I just said to the chairman [of Sydney FC], we’re finding different ways to win. We found a way to win.
"I'm driving the players to be the best in A-League history. In a ten-team competition the most returned has been 57 and we want to beat that.
"So we don't talk about coming first or the Premiers’ Plate, it's all about getting more than 57 points."
Sydney FC currently have 43 points with 10 games to go.
On a pitch that had cricket played on it 14 days ago, Arnold thought the surface influenced the game.
“We’re finding different ways to win. Tonight was a dog fight. We found a way to win,” he said.
“It was pretty even, the dog fight. It was a hard pitch to play on.
“The pitch was quick, the ball bounced and grass was very short so it became a game of second balls.
“And we had to make sure we were up for the fight with Melbourne tonight. We matched the fight with them.
Hyundai A-League debutant Jordy Buijs stepped in to the Sydney FC central defensive role and looked immediately at home despite only being in the country 10 days.
“I think you saw 25% of Jordy tonight. We worked hard this week at training to get Jordy used to playing in the team and the tactics next to Wilkinson and Calver," Arnold said.
Arnold added he changed things tactically after about half an hour, deploying Filip Holosko as a high and wide winger to allow Aaron Calver to concentrate on his defensive duties on the right side of defence.
“So we wouldn’t get caught in transition,” he explained.
The Sky Blues face Brisbane Roar next Friday night in the Queensland capital.