‘One we’ve looked forward to for quite a while now’- Sydney Derby long time coming for Corica
Steve Corica admits Sydney FC have been eying a Sydney Derby rematch for some time after Western Sydney Wanderers inflicted the only blemish on their almost-perfect Hyundai A-League record.
The Sky Blues prepared to extract revenge on their bitter, crosstown rivals on Friday, 8 February before the weather intervened to rain off the first ever Harbour City derby at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
The stage is now set for the rearranged clash, in Kogarah on Friday, 29 February, and the runaway league leaders are aiming to make amends for the 1-0 loss at Bankwest Stadium which has evidently been playing on their minds since October 2019.
The distraction has not been enough to knock Sydney off a 13-match unbeaten stretch, which includes 12 victories, to stake a cast-iron claim for the Premiers Plate – but the memories of that night in Parramatta have left Corica’s team searching for closure.
“Massive one. This is one we’ve looked forward to for quite a while now,” the Sky Blues head coach said.
“It’s always a big game – the derby. The first one at Kogarah, at Jubilee, which is something we’re looking forward to, playing at home against the Wanderers.
“I’m pretty sure that by Friday it’ll be a sold out capacity crowd and it’ll be a good night.”
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Mitchell Duke’s 19th-minute strike condemned the defending Champions to their only loss of a history-making 2019/20 campaign, despite the away side creating chance after chance in Western Sydney.
When the two antagonists meet on Friday, 240 days since their last battle, Corica is expecting a similar style of confrontation that went down back in Round 3 and he heads into battle with no new injury worries after Milos Ninkovic came through Wednesday's training session following a knock.
But one thing which has entered Corica's consciousness is the Red and Black’s impressive 5-2 win against Adelaide United last week, which saw Wanderers flex their attacking muscle.
“We need to be defensively nice and ready for it but also we want to concentrate on our game with the ball and dominate the game like we did in the first game against them,” Corica added.
“I think we had the majority of the possession, [we just need to] change the result around for us.
“We spoke about it many times, that was one of our best games with the ball but we didn’t score and get the win so we need to turn that around this time.”
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
Friday, 28 February
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Kick-off: 8pm AEDT