Rotation key to Sydney's Summer of Heroes schedule, says Corica

Rotation is a must, according to Sydney FC coach Steve Corica, as his side power through a hot run of fixtures in the Hyundai A-League’s Summer of Heroes. 

The Sky Blues bagged a 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets on Saturday afternoon thanks to a 44th-minute Nigel Boogaard own goal, and will have to back it up with a trip away to Wellington on Wednesday. 

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Corica appeared to relish the influx of fixtures and the test facing a squad filled with an abundance of quality and international experience. 

“We want to try and rotate the boys, especially in this period, give a few of them a rest when we can,” said Corica.

“Ninko was sick, so we didn’t really have much choice in that one, Joshy (Brillante) was suspended.

“I thought Anthony Caceres was very good in midfield — he did a great job, won a lot of balls and he’s very comfortable on the ball which is good. First start for him which is great.”

The fixtures are coming thick and fast for Sydney FC, with the side having to play Melbourne Victory in a thrilling Big Blue less than 96 hours after their game in Wellington. 

The games will go a long way into determining Sydney FC’s final position: Kevin Muscat’s side are on equal points with the Sky Blues, while three points for Wellington Phoenix will see them creep closer to Sydney FC and continue a Mark Rudan-inspired resurgence. 

Psychologically, the Phoenix may feel as though they have an advantage after a first-half onslaught at Jubilee Oval saw the side take an unassailable 3-0 lead. 

Wellington celebrate during their carnage at Jubilee Oval.
Wellington celebrate during their carnage at Jubilee Oval.

Nonplussed, Corica insisted on the importance of rotation at such a busy time and looked forward to the return of some key players.

“We’ve got a game in Wellington on Wednesday, another game on Saturday in Melbourne so they’re coming very quick,” said Corica. 

“We’ll have Ninko back though, he’ll be back for that game in Wellington, Joshy will be back as well, and Paolo Retre will be back I think. 

“We’ll be able to freshen up a few of the boys in that game.”