Sydney FC head coach Graham Arnold says he won’t risk his new marquee signing Marc Janko when the Sky Blues play Melbourne City in the FFA Cup tonight.
The Austrian striker signed with Sydney on July 31 and has only been in Australia for two weeks.
Arnold told FourFourTwo he won’t jeopardise any players susceptible to injury by giving them a run in the Cup.
Bernie Ibini and Ali Abbas were in the All-Stars squad against Juventus and are also likely to miss the match.
“It’s going to be a good test for us to see where we’re at, at the moment,” Arnold said with Alex Brosque also reportedly out.
“Of course the Cup is important, but for us and the process we’re going through my eyes are on the (A-League).
“I might risk players for important games, but for this one because we’re still two months out there’s no way.”
“(Marc Janko) is coming along well but … he’s only been in the country for 10 days.”
Arnold said it was the same for anyone carrying a slight injury.
“Pre-season is immensely important for every player,” he said.
“If they miss the pre-season then there’s a good chance that they’re behind the eight ball all season.
“We’ve got to make sure the players that are available are fit and ready to go.”
Arnold believes the Sky Blues will give a good account of themselves when they line-up against Melbourne City at Ballarat’s Morshead Park on Tuesday despite the hit to their attacking ranks.
The two teams will also meet in round one of the new A-League season on October 11 at Allianz Stadium.
“It gives us a great opportunity to see what they’ve got before the first game of the A-League,” Arnold said.
“David Villa is not here now but he’s going to add a lot of strength to them in round one.
“John van’t Schip is a great coach and brings a lot of experience to Melbourne City.
“He knows the club inside out and with the extra financial clout no doubt they’re going to be an even stronger team this year from last year and the years before.
“They’re leading the way in spending money at the moment in the A-League and that brings its own pressure as well. They’ve got a lot of youngsters and handling the pressure will be new to them.”
Arnold joined Sydney FC in May after an unsuccessful stint in Japan. The former title-winning coach with the Central Coast Mariners is satisfied with how the Sky Blues pre-season is going.
“I’m very happy with where we are at the moment,” Arnold said.
“Obviously we’re still two months away from the start of the competition.
“We’ve made some changes around the team, with new players coming in, but also some off-field stuff like the gymnasium and the training facility, trying to make it better than what it was before.
“I’m very happy with the way the players have taken to what we’re trying to do and we’re definitely a work in progress.
“We’re going to go through ups and downs but I’m very pleased with the way we’re going at the moment.”comments