Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold said the Wanderers put in one of their best displays of the season in Saturday night’s 0-0 draw against the Sky Blues in the Sydney Derby, but he was proud of his side's defensive display.
In a tight 14th derby, both keepers were brilliant at key moments to keep their side in the game, as each team cancelled each other to share the spoils in front of over 40,000 fans at Allianz.
Graham Arnold described it as an intense derby in which Wanderers raised their game.
"Happy with the display but not with the result," he told reporters after the game.
“A good derby, a passionate derby, a lot of fight. Two teams that played well and West Sydney Wanderers performed well.
“You’ve got to give them credit, they made it hard for us at times. They performed to their best tonight, but [Sydney FC's] execution let us down tonight.
"But I couldn't be prouder of the way we worked and played. We were very good tonight and we'll get better."
And Arnold praised Aaron Calver after the youngster filled in admirably in central defence for the Sky Blues after the loss of Matt Jurman (transferred last week) and replacement Seb Ryall's injury.
“You blokes [the media] were more worried about our defence than I was. Our defence was fantastic again. And Aaron Calver was outstanding," he said.
One of the game’s key moments was a penalty shout in the first half. Arnold disputed Wanderers coach Tony Popovic’s claims that it should’ve been a penalty.
“His arm was tucked in. It hit him on the back of the elbow. Don’t think it was a penalty,” he said.
The Sky Blues next face Adelaide United this Friday night at Allianz Stadium.
And Arnold forecast another tricky night as a team below them on the ladder look to cause and upset.
“Everyone raises their game now against Sydney FC. And we have to and we’ll get better and better at it.
“We’re only 60-70% of where we’ll end up. Fifteen rounds in we’re still a team that has a lot of improvement left in us."