Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has his fingers crossed that Socceroos midfielder Brett Emerton will recover in time for Sunday's clash with Gold Coast at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has his fingers crossed that Socceroos midfielder Brett Emerton will recover in time for Sunday's clash with Gold Coast at the Sydney Football Stadium - a match that could easily be the turning point of their troubled Hyundai A-League season.
Emerton, who still hasn't hit top form for the Sky Blues after returning from a long stint in the English Premier League with Blackburn, left the field with an ankle injury after 78 minutes in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Perth Glory at Campbelltown.
But Lavicka hasn't written him off.
"It's a quick turnaround but we are hoping he will be right,'' Lavicka said.
The under pressure Sydney coach was left scratching his head again after the Sky Blues blew another three points when they switched off in the dying stages and allowed Perth a late equaliser.
He refuses to concede that his team has a mental problem and is lacking confidence.
"It's more about concentration,'' he said after the game.
But he has now called on his senior players to rise as Sydney have now gone six games without a win.
They've had two draws and four defeats.
"We have strong players in the squad, especially a couple of senior players with strong leadership and they must lift up the younger players," he said.
"Also the coaching staff around me, which is professional, must be able to keep the players up. It is more about character now.''
Sydney are still in the top six but would be higher placed if they had picked up wins over Brisbane and Perth.
They conceded two-injury time goals against the Roar and an 88th minute goal against the Glory.
He didn't blame the heat factor at Campbelltown.
"Of course some of them were tired but that's football. You need to keep your concentration and play the game simple and don't make it complicated," he said.
"What we conceded (the goal) was about concentration."
Captain Terry McFlynn found the result hard to digest and saw it as a loss rather than a point gained.
"We played the conditions well, we played the game plan well, but in the end mistakes cost us,'' he said.
"We can't let it affect us. We have to believe in what we are doing. We are a strong group and there is belief in the group."
"We have a game at home at the SFS on Sunday against the Gold Coast and we have to win."