Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says the Sky Blues now have mental advantage over Melbourne Victory who they may meet in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final on May 7.
Sydney FC all but wrapped up the Premiership by moving 11 points clear at the top with five games to go after defeating second-placed Big V 1-0 on Friday night in the Big Blue.
It now appears both sides could meet in one more Big Blue this season on grand final day in just over two months’ time.
“The most important thing for me tonight is that it’s three wins [this season] against Melbourne Victory and it’s a mental advantage moving into the big games [in the Finals Series]," Arnold told Fox Sports.
“There are still 15 points to play and yes we’re in a fantastic position but we want history," he added.
“And yes we’re in a fantastic position but we want history and we want performance and I’ve got a hungry group of players but I’m still not totally happy with the way we’re playing."
Victory bossed the opening 20 minutes of the clash but butchered a couple of gilt-edged chances to take the lead, courtesy of Jai Ingham.
A relentless Sydney FC made them pay despite a poor pitch following heavy rain in Sydney in recent days.
And with the Premiership theirs for the taking Arnold noted he wouldn’t be putting out a weakened side once the trophy is confirmed to rest the squad ahead of the finals.
“It’s about performance and we’re not here to do favours for the players. We want them to perform every week.
“I don’t want to disrespect anyone but the players on the pitch are the ones who should be starting.
“I dont’ want to break up the combinations. I feel the combinations are getting better.”
Arnold also praised Brazilian striker Bobo for his all-round performance.
Sydney FC are back at Allianz next Friday night to face Central Coast Mariners, his former club, and Arnold challenged the Sydney public to come out in numbers.
“C’mon, next Friday night we have Central Coast Mariners here, we’d love to see 20-25,000 and for them to witness how good Milos Ninkovic and the boys are doing.”