Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says his vision of turning the Hyundai A-League leaders into the "Manchester United of Australia" is right on track.
Speaking following his re-signing for a further two seasons with the undefeated A-League leaders, the Sydney FC boss was in a bullish mood when discussing his ambition for the club.
“When I first came to this club two-and-a-half-years ago I wanted this club to be the Manchester United of Australia and I think we’re getting there,” Arnold told reporters.
“We’re 60-70 per cent of our journey and that journey will continue. I have all the confidence in what we’re doing that we will not only win the championship but we’ll be one of the top clubs in Asia.”
It’s not the first time Arnold has looked to the EPL for inspiration with the coach challenging his squad to match the exploits of Arsenal’s “Invincibles” by going through the season undefeated.
With Sydney FC still unbeaten nearing the halfway point in the campaign that dream remains very much alive but the ultimate goal remains the double this season.
“We want to do big things at this club and reward not only the board and owners with success but also our wonderful fans that support us every week,” said Arnold.
“Six years is a long time for the fantastic fans that we’ve got and Sydney’s the biggest city in the country.
“So it’s a dream of mine to hand that trophy to Scott [Barlow, Sydney FC Chairman] and to the board and the fans.
“We want to win the Premiership and the Championship and that’s what we’re striving for at the moment.”
The league leaders’ next challenge will come against the club that achieved that history-making feat last season. The Sky Blue tackle the Reds on Boxing Day at Coopers Stadium.
While happy to make bold predictions about the future Arnold was careful not to be overconfident heading into the clash despite the sides occupying opposite ends of the ladder.
Perhaps with good reason – Sydney have only won one of their last 11 clashes against the Reds and haven’t won in Adelaide since February 2012.
“We’ve had a great start to the competition. We’ve got a fantastic group of players; I’ve got a fantastic staff, that was a big point [in re-signing].
“The boys are hungry and for me the extension is an honour, it’s a privilege but for me the most important thing is next week [against Adelaide]."