Back to basics for Sydney

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka says the Sky Blues need to focus on the basics if they are to arrest their losing streak and regain their mojo.

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka says the Sky Blues need to focus on the basics if they are to arrest their losing streak and regain their mojo.

A 1-0 defeat against Hyundai A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners was their third loss on the trot, which combined with a home draw against Adelaide United just prior to Christmas, means the Sky Blues have now gone four matches without victory.

The result leaves the Sky Blues clinging to fifth place on the ladder, but only two points clear of second-from-bottom Newcastle ahead of next Saturday's visit to champions Brisbane Roar.

"We conceded an early goal which was bad for our confidence," said Lavicka. "In the first half we didn't have good movement off the ball.

"At half-time we made some changes and in the second half we definitely improved."

"If we want to pick up points we need to be more consistent and play not only for 45. We need to play for 90 minutes. We need to now start with the basics."

An early goal from Oliver Bozanic was the only difference between the teams but the Mariners were completely dominant in the first half and were unlucky to only have more than a one-goal lead.

Sydney improved in the second half to avoid a repetition of their last two matches in which they conceded four goals in each.

Nevertheless the result leaves the 2010 champions in the doldrums after they were riding high just a month ago.

"Everyone is frustrated at Sydney FC at the moment including me of course," said a downbeat Lavicka of a result which left Sydney's record at the Sydney Football Stadium at just one win in six matches this season.

"A few weeks ago we had a good chance to reach second spot so everyone was confident but in football everything changes very quickly."

"We have to believe in ourselves and our confidence can pick up bit by bit."

"Maybe one goal, one good performance, one good win can turn things and we can start to be successful again."

"The boys are good enough physically, our main problem at the moment is up here," said Lavicka pointing to his head.

Following the 4-2 drubbing at the hands of Wellington Phoenix in midweek, Lavicka rang the changes bringing in four new faces to the starting line-up.

In came Rhyan Grant and Seb Ryall at fullback, while Karol Kisel and Nick Carle were a welcome return to the midfield following suspension and injury respectively. Shannon Cole, Jamie Coyne, Dimi Petratos and Mark Bridge were all omitted with the changes making for only modest success.

"The second half was much better," said Sky Blues captain Terry McFlynn.

"We have to take the positives out of it, which was the second half, and take that into the Brisbane match next week."

"We're just lacking a bit of confidence now. Some players are second guessing themselves and having an extra touch, which slows things down. But confidence can hopefully be regained."