Sydney FC youngster Joel Chianese believes the Sky Blues' vital win over Perth last weekend may just be the catalyst for a late-season surge - not only for a berth in the finals – but possibly all the way to the title.
Sydney FC youngster Joel Chianese believes the Sky Blues' vital win over Perth last weekend may just be the catalyst for a late-season surge - not only for a berth in the finals - but possibly all the way to the title.
The two-time champions kept in touch with the top six thanks to the narrow 2-1 win over the Glory on Saturday night, just their second win in their last 10 matches.
While conceding they still have plenty of work to do just to cement their spot in the playoffs, Chianese said there is a different mood around the team now and a belief they can have a real say in the destination of the Hyundai A-League crown.
"That win on the weekend has really lifted the atmosphere around the whole club," Chianese said.
"It was a really important game and hopefully it can really spark our season.
'If we can continue that run this weekend it could really spark our season towards the finals.
"We can't make it up to the top one or two but we're really looking forward to getting in the finals because if we can, we can give it a real shake up.
"(The Perth win) has put confidence through the whole team and shows that we can do it."
The win over the Glory was extra special for Chianese as it was his first start in the Hyundai A-League after just one other appearance off the bench this season.
After a mixture of hip an ankle injuries disrupted his start to the campaign, the 22-year-old has worked hard to get back to full fitness and his strong form with the club's youth team made it impossible for coach Vitezslav Lavicka to keep him out any longer.
"It was frustrating waiting for my chance but I finally got it and I think I made the most of it," Chianese said.
"I'm just looking forward to getting out there again this weekend and hopefully bagging a few goals.
"I had a few chances to bag maybe one or two goals (against Perth), I was in the right position, so hopefully this week I'll put them in the net."
Chianese said the influence of Socceroos Brett Emerton and Nicky Carle had played a major role in his progression to first team football this season.
"They're always there supporting you in everything you do and they're always positive," he said.
"They make sure you're doing the right things."
"I just listen to what they say and it makes it s lot easier."
"It's just a matter now of getting that experience in the first team. Once you get that chance you've just got to make the most of it."
Lavicka confirmed Slovak midfielder Karol Kisel will miss Sunday's clash with Adelaide due to a groin injury, with skipper Terry McFlynn likely to return to the side after missing the Glory match through suspension.