He threatened to wield the axe but Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold has given his out-of-sorts stars one more chance to redeem themselves in Saturday night’s sold-out Sydney Derby.
A fuming Arnold hinted at mass changes after the Sky Blues lacklustre 2-1 defeat to Perth Glory last weekend which has their Hyundai A-League finals hopes in jeopardy.
With a jam-packed schedule ahead and some tricky clashes to come in the Hyundai A-League, they can ill-afford another poor showing against neighbours and bitter rivals Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium.
But instead of giving his side a major facelift, Arnold will stick solid and give the playing group a chance to work themselves out of their slump.
“I'm looking for a reaction. I'm looking for revenge from last week and the last few weeks,” the Sky Blues told reporters on Thursday.
“There won't be too many changes. I'm looking for a reaction from our boys,” Arnold added.
“I've not been more disappointed in any of our performances in the year and a half that I've been at the club, than last week. I was really down about it.
“As I said to the players, this is new for me as well. I've not gone through a period in my coaching career of losing three in four and not winning in four games.
“The only way out of it is hard work. If you're waiting for someone else to do it for you, it's not going to happen.”
- Sydney FC marquee Filip Holosko returns after missing last week’s loss to Glory with a hamstring problem.
- Alex Brosque has been named after he came through his return from injury last weekend unscathed.
- Wanderers have named Spanish duo Andreu and Dimas: both missed last week's 5-2 loss to Phoenix.
- The Sky Blues are unbeaten in the last six clashes between the two clubs.
A 40,000 plus crowd will also be on hand at Allianz with the fixture officially a sell-out for the fifth straight time.
And Arnold anticipates no repeat of the fan issues which have plagued the league over the last couple of weeks.
"It’s fantastic. Sydney FC have always set the standard in the league. There's never been any hassles, any trouble with The Cove,'” Arnold said.
"They led the supporters group from day one - The Cove started that across the A-League, and they've continued it. Their support last week for us, even though we had a bad game, was outstanding.
"They've never misbehaved and we don't expect that they will.
“It's going to be a fantastic spectacle, like the Melbourne derby. The good thing this year is you've got four of us, the two Melbourne clubs and the two Sydney clubs up in the top six, fighting to get into the top six, which adds even more interest.”