Ahead of the Sky Blues’ entry into the Hyundai A-League Finals Series, upbeat coach Graham Arnold has confirmed his star playmaker Milos Ninkovic will start against Perth Glory in Saturday night's semi final.
SUPER NINKO SET TO SHINE
Ninkovic has recovered from the ankle injury he sustained in Round 27 against Newcastle.
“He’s 100 percent,” Arnold told reporters as Sydney FC continued their buildup to Saturday’s semi-final at Allianz Stadium.
“He trained individually at the end of last week and if we needed to push him to play last weekend he would have been fine.
“He’s trained all week with the group, did a physical session yesterday with 4 v 4s and he was like he normally is.
“He’s 100 percent and will play,” Arnold repeated.
PHYSICALLY FIT – MENTALLY FRESH
After a week off, the Sydney FC mentor says his players are reinvigorated ahead of the most challenging part of the season.
“When we come into training every day, we come in preparing to win the game,” said Arnold.
“We expect to win on Saturday night.
“I know the players are expecting that and so am I.
“Physically, we’re in top shape – everyone is 100 percent fit.
“The mental freshen-up has probably made them even more ready to go.
“I expect our best performance over the next ten days,” he said.
NO SPECIAL STRATEGY TO STOP SPANIARD
Arnold insisted Sydney FC haven’t put special plans in place to deal with the man most likely to cause them problems – Glory’s sublime Spaniard Diego Castro.
“Like all the good players across the A-League, if he’s given space and time he’s a very good player,” said Arnold.
“We’ll have a plan not just for him, but the whole Perth Glory team – it’s not a one-man show.
“I prefer to look at ourselves and see what we can do to not only nullify Perth but to expose their weaknesses,” he added.
ONE PERCENTERS TO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
And "Arnie" has no doubt where Saturday’s game will be won and lost.
“The goalposts haven’t been changed, the size of the field hasn’t been changed, the personnel hasn’t been changed,” he said.
“It’s about attitude and performance.
“That’s what we’ve been driving the boys [with] this week – the mental aspect of the game.
“It’s about performance and the one-percenters,” he said.