New Sydney coach Graham Arnold says performances not results are what count in his side's pre-season friendlies against English Premier League opposition.
The Sky Blues were beaten 4-0 by Newcastle United in Dunedin on Tuesday night in the opening match of the Football United tour that also features West Ham and A-League rivals Wellington Phoenix.
On Wednesday night the Phoenix earned a historic 2-1 win over the Hammers in Auckland, with goals coming from skipper Andrew Durante and new signing Alejandro Rodriguez-Gorrin before Mauro Zarate scored a late goal for the English team.
But Arnold isn't getting too caught up in the results ahead of the match in Wellington against West Ham as he looks to get to know his players better and get them playing the systems he wants.
"I'm very happy for Wellington that they beat West Ham. But they didn't get three points and they didn't get any trophies for it," Arnold said. "West Ham probably feel the same way as I feel."
"I don't care about any opposition until October 11 and our first game because the whole pre-season is about us progressing into being a very good football team.
"I will judge us on our progression not on what other teams do to us. It's about how we're reacting to what we're wanting to do and I've seen major steps in that."
The former Socceroos boss believes his side is well short of the fitness levels they will need to be at when the A-League season kicks off.
"Physically we're probably at 25 percent of where I want us to be," Arnold said. "With the game plan and the style I want to play the physical aspect of it is hugely important.
"If they are not physically right the system makes it harder for them to play in."
Arnold admitted he had been disappointed with his side's reaction after Ivan Necevski's blunder allowed Siem de Jong to fire home the opener, with Sydney conceding three goals in the first 30 minutes.
"The heads went down and they then started playing their own game. They went back to bad habits until we could get them in at half-time and settle them back down and reinforce the game plan and reinforce everyone's jobs.
"I thought the second half we were very good and we'll get better with time."1 comment