Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says he is not focused on English Premier League giants Newcastle United ahead of their clash with the Sky Blues in Dunedin on Tuesday night.
Arnold is using the friendly in New Zealand to lay the groundwork for a successful A-League season and said he is unconcerned about what Alan Pardew's men throw at them.
“We haven’t analysed Newcastle too much,” Arnold said.
“We’ve looked at them, but tomorrow night is all about us.
“I’m new to the job and I’m getting to know the players and getting to see their strengths and weaknesses.
“We’ve been working hard on our structures and tactics so as long as they carry out their instructions that is what is important.”
Arnold believes the prestigious match up is a chance for his players to prove themselves against some of the world’s best.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for Sydney FC and our players to be invited to this tournament,” he added.
“It’s a pre-season exhibition game but it’s one which gives the players a great opportunity to impress.”
Centre-half and Sydney FC Player Of The Year for 2013/14, Nikola Petkovic, is relishing the challenge.
“It’s a bit cold but it’s okay, we are prepared for this and we’ve come to play,” he said.
“It’s the first big test for us against a very good team. It’s one of the top teams and I hope we will give our best tomorrow.”
The Sky Blues trained at the Forsyth Barr Stadium on Monday afternoon before goalkeeper Ivan Necevski, defender Matt Jurman and midfielders Peter Triantis and Terry Antonis posed for photos alongside and Newcastle players Jack Colback, Haris Vuckic, Massadio Haidara and recent signing Emmanuel Riviere, at Dunedin’s historic railway station.
The game kicks off at 7.30pm Dunedin time (5.30pm AEST) tomorrow and is live on Main Event.comments