A relaxed Graham Arnold says Sydney FC side will have a "fun" training session today to complete preparations for one of the most anticipated Hyundai A-League Grand Finals in history.
Arnold cut a cheery figure at the official pre-match press conference on Saturday afternoon.
Smiling and happy to banter with the media alongside his skipper Alex Brosque, Arnold was the polar opposite to this opposite number Kevin Muscat who was in no mood for smiles.
It’s an approach Arnold, 51, used two years ago when his Mariners prepared for the 2013 Grand Final against Western Sydney Wanderers, one his Central Coast side won to finally win at their third attempt on decider day.
And the coach of Sydney FC hopes this demeanour will transfer to his Sky Blues as they prepare for the biggest game of the season against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday.
“It’s the same as every game. Obviously the players know it’s a big game but we’ve tried to keep our routine as close to normal as we can,” Arnold said.
“The motivation side, the players already know and have that, but it’s about keeping the players nice and relaxed.
“Keeping them together. We’ve a training session after this [press conference] and we’ll have a good fun session. And then the boys are ready to go.”
Quizzed on Muscat’s comments earlier in the week, when the irritated Victory coach said he didn’t want to make the game about him and the Sydney coach, Arnold laughed it off.
“I know he doesn’t mean it,” he said with a chuckle.
“Obviously there’s some banter that goes on but at the end of the day the two best teams are here.”
Arnold added the three draws this season in the league wouldn’t have a great bearing on Sunday’s decider.
“It’s a one-off game and I expect it to be an exciting game. With Victory we’ve both had the best attacking record of any team, both teams scoring over 50 goals.
“And we’re hoping it’ll be a great spectacle tomorrow.”