Blackwood: Sydney still in finals mix
The Sky Blues conceded twice in the last four minutes in Gosford to settle for a 2-2 draw with the lowly Mariners to deal a serious blow to their top six hopes.
If Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory both manage wins in their matches on Sunday, Graham Arnold’s side will find themselves five points adrift of the top six heading into the last three rounds.
With tricky matches against Brisbane (away), Adelaide and Perth (both home) to come, finals football looks unlikely for Sydney, having gone nine games without a win in the A-League.
“I was pretty happy with the performance but ultimately we wanted the win and we didn’t get that tonight,” Blackwood told ABC radio.
“We have to go back to the drawing board midweek and we’ve got some big games coming up.
“If we win all of them we should have a good chance of making the finals.”
Blackwood’s performance was a bright spot for the Sky Blues, the 18-year-old opening the scoring with a brilliant run and strike for his first Hyundai A-League goal.
It comes after an excellent showing in the AFC Champions League in midweek as Sydney won 1-0 against Pohang Steelers in Korea.
“I’ve been working really hard the last six weeks to push for a spot in the team,” Blackwood said.
“I got a chance midweek and worked hard and it payed off by starting again tonight.
“I just have to keep working hard, keep my feet on the ground and see what happens from there,” he added. “Hopefully we can round off the season in a good way.”
Blackwood said the club was hopeful of having playmaker Milos Ninkovic back for next Saturday night’s clash with Roar at Suncorp Stadium.