Sydney FC Head Coach Steve Corica revealed his side are in the market for another striker as they chase their third successive Hyundai A-League Premiership.
The Sky Blues have plenty of firepower in the squad which includes captain Alex Brosque, Milos Ninkovic, Siem de Jong and Adam Le Fondre, which has helped Sydney FC to only three goals less than ladder-leaders Perth Glory.
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But a season-ending knee injury to young speedster Trent Buhagiar, as well as de Jong's absence with a hamstring problem, has left the Sky Blues looking for reinforcements.
And with a busy Summer Football ahead in January, as well as the AFC Asian Champions League kicking off in March, Corica acknowledged the need for a striker who can fit into the club’s culture.
“It’s a long search, we’ve got until January to sort that out,” said Corica.
“There are options there at the moment, we’re just making sure we get the right one as well coming in at the right time.
“They’ve got to fit into the culture of the club, and obviously we’re looking at someone who scores goals as well. If we can get pace as well, that’s a bonus.”
And much like his predecessor, Corica would be more than thorough in his search for the perfect marksman.
“There’s quite a few of us involved. We’ve got two assistant coaches, a video analyst, Terry McFlynn as well,” said Corica.
“There’s about four or five of us to make sure we get the right players in.
“There are a lot of agents that get involved who obviously send players to the club. We’ve got to do our research and make sure we get the right players in.”
Sydney FC has been pitted in what some believe to be the group of death for the AFC Champions League.
The Sky Blues are drawn against Kawasaki Frontale and Shanghai SIPG, both champions in their respective leagues, as well as one more yet to be determined opponent.
The 3+1 rule in the AFC allows clubs to register three foreigners and one Asian foreigner in their AFC Champions League squads, something Sydney FC and Corica are aware of.
“It’d be nice to get an Asian player because of the Champions League, but it doesn’t always work that well," the Sky Blues boss said.
“We’ve had one [proposal] come in, but he’ll be away all of January if that’s the case - that’s maybe not the right player for us because he’ll miss six games in January.
“It’s important just to get the right player that fits into the team culture and scores goals for us.”
Brillante: We expect to win
Sydney FC midfielder Josh Brillante ignored suggestions his side have the wood over Central Coast Mariners.
The Gosford-based outfit has won only one of their last 12 games against Sydney FC, that 2-0 win coming in Round 6 last season.
And despite the odds ostensibly in Sydney’s favour, Brillante was not taking the Mariners lightly.
“I think we always have every team out for us, so we expect that in the games and to be tough, but we expect to win,” said Brillante.
“All we want is a good performance from ourselves and show everyone what we can do.
“To be honest, we’re not concentrated on any of the other teams, especially the way they play, because we know that when we’re firing we can break down any defence.”
Sydney FC will have to regather themselves following a tight encounter against Melbourne Victory in Round 5.
Kevin Muscat’s side went ahead twice, eventually prevailing 2-1 over the Sky Blues to hand them their first loss of the 2018/19 Season.
Brillante admitted the side didn’t take losses well, such are their high standards.
“I think we take it a lot harder than most of the teams because they are so few,” he said.
“But we just have to really review what we did in the game and look forward to the next game. And like I said work hard, bounce back, wear our heart on our sleeve.
“[We lacked] just a bit of execution in the final third. We created a lot of chances but just couldn’t put it away, so looking to bounce back and show it this week.”