Lavicka rues slow start

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has lamented his side's sluggish start in Saturday's 3-2 loss to bitter rivals the Central Coast Mariners at the SFS.

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has lamented his side's sluggish start in Saturday's 3-2 loss to bitter rivals the Central Coast Mariners at the SFS.

For the second time this season the Sky Blues found themselves trailing by two goals before mounting a late fightback in front of a boisterous home crowd at the SFS.

Marquee men Nicky Carle and Brett Emerton both found the back of the net in the final 15 minutes of the contest, but their late heroics weren't enough to avoid a disappointing defeat in front of a boisterous home crowd.

"It's the second home game we've played where we were two goals down and then we started to chase the game," Lavicka said in reference to his side's 3-2 victory over Gold Coast United a fortnight ago.

"When we played Gold Coast we returned and won the game but tonight we didn't."

"Unfortunately I have to say that the opponent was better than us tonight."

Skipper Terry McFlynn admits his side's habit of starting slowly is becoming a concern.

"That's something that we spoke about is that we'd like to get ourselves in front and give ourselves every chance to go on and win the game rather than always chasing the game," McFlynn, who missed the second half with a knee injury, said.

"Central Coast was well organised and a well-drilled side and when we were chasing the game obviously that opened up space in behind us and they caught us a couple of times on the counter attack and punished us."

Quizzed on the extent of his injury, McFlynn, who came off second best in a collision with Rostyn Griffiths in the 15th minute of the contest, revealed: "The injury is alright, it was just a clash of knees and it's just swollen up a little bit so we'll assess it in the morning and hopefully I can join in at training from Tuesday."

Coach Lavicka was critical of his side's defensive performance but is confident the Sky Blues can turn things around quickly.

"When we played last week in Perth we did very well defensively as a team, tonight we conceded three goals so that is a reflection of how we defended tonight," he said.

"We have to improve and we'll stay positive because the season is still going and we're going to travel to Wellington and try to show a better performance and pick up some points."

Meanwhile, Lavicka admits Emerton's tireless performance was one positive to come out of the loss.

"He scored a spectacular goal for us and he worked very hard," Lavicka said.

"It wasn't easy for him to come back from his international duties for the Socceroos but unfortunately it wasn't enough to draw or win the game."