‘We have to take a look at ourselves’: Brattan’s challenge to Sydney FC ahead of the finals
More aggression and some inner reflection will be the key to Sydney FC rediscovering their form ahead of the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
That’s the opinion of Sky Blues midfielder Luke Brattan after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Brisbane Roar on Thursday night.
While Sydney had the Premiership wrapped up with four games to spare, Steve Corica’s side have now gone four games without a win.
It’s far from a crisis for the defending champions but given the club’s success in recent seasons, questions are being asked about their chances come the finals.
There were certainly some encouraging signs against Roar at McDonald Jones Stadium, with only some Jamie Young brilliance denying the Sky Blues the victory.
But Brattan concedes there are still some kinks to iron out before the club plays their must-win Semi Final later this month.
Asked if the Sky Blues are where they want to be heading into the finals, Brattan offered a blunt “No”.
So what needs to change?
“We need to show a bit more like we did in the second half,” he told Fox Sports.
“It’s going to be a different story come the finals, we all know that. But you have to do it here. You can’t just flick the switch and turn up.
“We have to get more aggressive, throw ourselves around a bit like teams do to us and we have the quality when we do have the ball to take care of teams.
“I think we have to take a look at ourselves a little bit.”
Sydney found themselves on the back foot inside 11 minutes in the Hunter, falling behind to a well-taken goal by Roar speedster Dylan Wenzel-Halls.
But the Sky Blues slowly worked their way into the contest, hitting back just before the break with a stunning strike from youngster Luke Ivanovic.
Both sides created ample opportunities in the second half to take all three points but couldn’t find a way past the respective gloveman.
Roar’s Jamie Young was particularly impressive, making one amazing triple save 17 minutes from time to frustrate the Sky Blues.
“He’s [Young] unbelievable,” Wenzel-Halls said of Roar’s No.1
“He does that in training week in, week out. He pulls out some phenomenal saves.”
Warren Moon’s Roar now face a 12-day wait before their Elimination Final, which will either be against Perth Glory or Western United FC.
“You got to beat everyone to win the league. No matter who we play we’ll give everything we have for the club and the badge,” said Wenzel-Halls.
Wenzel-Halls added of his form and the influence of interim boss Moon: “Warren’s great. He’s put a lot of belief in me, a lot of confidence in me and I think that shows in my performance.
“He’s been fantastic, the boys respect him and he’s been nothing but great for the team.
“The gaffer [Robbie Fowler] before that did well but hopefully Moonie can take us all the way.”