Sydney FC to freshen up for Phoenix

Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold has hinted he’ll give his youngsters a shot for Thursday night’s home clash with Wellington as he looks to freshen up his weary troops.

The Sky Blues played in 36-degree heat in Perth on Saturday and have less than five days to recharge the batteries after a five-hour plane ride back. 

While there are no injury concerns, Arnold concedes the ones who played against Glory are feeling fatigued and could be rested from the Allianz Stadium encounter.

Youngsters Andrew Hoole and Brandon O’Neill are two candidates for a start, while defender Jacques Faty is back from a quick trip to France last week to visit family.

Brandon O'Neill competes for a header with Federico Piovaccari.

"I don't normally do it, but I'll probably wait until the last minute before I name the team this week," Arnold told reporters on Tuesday.

“I am considering bringing fresh legs in this week. We have a good young squad in depth and some of the young boys have been training extremely hard. 

"Every time they come off the bench they’re doing well so maybe it’s time for them to start.

“Andrew Clark [strength and fitness coach] has everyone fit, 24 players, I have to leave two out every day at training in 11 v 11 and that’s not nice.”

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While less than a third of the way through the season, this is a crucial clash for the Sky Blues who have gone winless in their last three matches.

And Arnold hopes it's an all-or-nothing approach on Thursday night. 

Sydney FC players celebrate a goal during their loss to Melbourne Victory.

"It’s up to the players just to make sure they leave nothing in the tank, that they crawl off the field they don’t walk off and they leave everything out on the pitch.

“We lost to [Phoenix] at home last year and beat them twice away last year so it’s a matter of going out on the pitch, believing in yourself and playing to the best of your ability and that’s what I believe will happen.”

And it’s the home form which continues to be their Achilles heel. While Sydney hasn’t lost in their last 18 away regular season fixtures, they’ve only won one of their last five on home soil.

"If I could've worked it out, I would've worked it out ages ago,” Arnold said.

“Last year our home form wasn’t good enough and we need to fix it. I’m thinking all the time about why and how."