Corica believes Sydney FC’s superior strength and fitness showed against Victory

Steve Corica insists Sydney FC’s physical edge shone through in the 4-1 beatdown against Melbourne Victory in Saturday’s Big Blue.

The runaway Hyundai A-League leaders extended their ladder advantage to 13 points with a second-half rally that left Big V reeling in the Champions’ wake at Marvel Stadium.

Milos Ninkovic cancelled out Marco Rojas’ opener on the brink of half-time before strikes from Anthony Caceras, Adam Le Fondre and a Kosta Barabarouses penalty saw the Sky Blues streak away from their old enemy after the interval, while Tim Hoogland's late red card meant the Navy Blue finished with 10 players.

Despite playing three matches in eight days, Corica believes his side’s strength and fitness levels were apparent as Sydney racked up their fifth straight Big Blue triumph.

“It’s been a tough week, three games in a week, it’s never easy,” said Corica.

“Especially after the loss against [Western Sydney] Wanderers last week.

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“Everyone was waiting to see how we’d go, especially with a difficult game in the Champions League as well on Wednesday night. 

“I thought we were physically fitter than them, we were stronger and full credit to our strength and conditioning, head of high performance, the boys were outstanding I thought.”

If questions were being asked of the Sky Blues following a run of one win in four matches across all competitions, Corica believes Sydney FC delivered all of the answers on Saturday night.

And with another three blockbuster clashes on the horizon for the defending champions in a seven-day period, Corica is preparing his side to rise to the challenge once again.

“[We’ll] be freshening up some bodies and keeping them fresh as much as we can,” Corica said.

“We’ve got Perth next week, we’ve got Wellington in midweek, and then we’ve got Wanderers – what a great three games to look forward to.”

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Carlos Salvachua believes poor-decision making cost Melbourne Victory and forced his Hyundai A-League strugglers to run themselves into the ground.

“It’s more than [playing] worse football because in the end, we didn’t play,” said Salvachua.

“We started to confuse when is build up and when is transition in attack.

“But the problem was defensive because we opened the game for them.

“We offered space… and we run more than them. I prefer to always run less than the opponent. 

“But it depends if you are in a good position or not, you have to run more.

“We finished completely tired because we run behind the ball.”

SUNDAY PREVIEW: Perth Glory v Melbourne City
SUNDAY PREVIEW: Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix

Round 23

Wellington Phoenix v Melbourne Victory
Sunday, 15 March 
Sky Stadium
Kick off: 6.20pm local, 4.20pm AEDT

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Match centre

Sydney FC v Perth Glory
Saturday, 14 March 
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Kick off: 5pm AEDT

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Match centre