Arnold targets European left-back

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold revealed that a foreign defender is the final piece of the puzzle for the Sky Blues ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.

Arnold, who has described the club’s attacking third as “frightening,” is hoping to use one of two available visa spots to shore up the left-back role before season kick-off.

Speaking before the team departed for the Wingate Townsville Football Cup, the title-winning coach said a Dutch or English import was likely.

“I’d like to if possible get one more player in,” Arnold told the club’s website.

“We’re a bit short in the left back position at the moment with only young Alex Gersbach there.

“Yes, Matty Jurman can play there but he’s a specialist central defender and I want to have two players for every position to create healthy competition between the players.

Arnold added: “There’s no doubt that it will be a foreign player because we have two visa spots left and if we can bring a player in that position it would strengthen the squad enormously.

“We’re speaking to one or two Dutchmen and a couple of Englishmen as well but on this one I’m just staying patient."

The Sky Blues have boosted their attacking ranks in the off-season, signing Austrian hitman Marc Janko, former Sky Blues favourite Alex Brosque and bringing in Golden Boot winner Shane Smeltz.

“The morale is fantastic, things are gelling well together at the moment but there is still a lot of work to do and a long way to go but I’m very happy at the moment,” Arnold said.

Sydney have lost just one of their five preseason games to date – a 3-1 defeat to Premier League side Newcastle United. But given the team’s notoriously fickle performances in past seasons, it comes as no surprise that Arnold is demanding “consistency” from his players.

“Hard work on the training pitch,” Arnold said of his expectations, "every time they go on the pitch that they try to better themselves and become a better team every day.

“And we’re working hard on that at the moment and I’m very happy with where they’re at.

“I think I’ve got two fantastic leaders in Sasa Ognenovski and Nikola Petkovic and I need those two guys to lead from the back, be the voice of the team on the field and I need them to drive the rest of the team forward.

“Plus we have good depth with Matty Jurman in the side, who has been fantastic in the pre-season games to date.”

Sydney kick-off their Townsville campaign on Sunday against the Northern Fury before taking on Brisbane Roar and the Newcastle Jets.

Sydney travelling squad: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 7. Corey GAMEIRO, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 11. Bernie IBINI, 12. Hagi GLIGOR, 13. Alex GERSBACH, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 16. Christopher NAUMOFF, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 18. Peter TRIANTIS, 19. Nick CARLE, 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21. Marc JANKO,  22. Ali ABBAS, Aaron CALVER, . Dylan CATON, Themba MUATA-MARLOW, Anthony BOUZANIS (gk), George TIMOTHEOU.