Brosque to miss top-of-the-table clash

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has eased concerns over a serious ankle injury to skipper Alex Brosque but has all but ruled him out of Friday night’s top-of-the-table clash with Adelaide United.

Brosque had to be carried from the field in the dying stages of Sunday’s 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners at Allianz Stadium after rolling his ankle.

The Sky Blues skipper looked in plenty of anguish as he was taken up the tunnel but Arnold is confident his marquee man won’t be a long-term casualty.

High-flying Sydney, who have equaled their best-ever start to a season, face the biggest challenge of their title credentials next up with an away clash against Josep Gombau’s Reds on Friday night.

“He’s (Brosque) rolled his ankle. He said he’s done it before and you can normally get over it pretty quick,” Arnold said of Brosque’s injury.

“We’ve got a short turnaround this week so he might be struggling for that one but he will hopefully be back for the [Melbourne] Victory game (the week after).

“…They (Adelaide) are in good form, are a tough team to play at Coopers Stadium, it’s a beautiful pitch and will be a good crowd.

“We’ll recover well, work on some tactics this week and be ready for them. I’m really confident we can do well against them.”

In a boost for the Sky Blues, Kiwi international Shane Smeltz will be available for his Hyundai A-League debut for the club against the Reds.

Arnold’s men certainly didn’t need his goal-scoring talents on Sunday as first-half strikes from Terry Antonis and Sasa Ognenovski ensured the 2-0 win in front of more than 17,000 fans.

Antonis stole the show with his stunning strike to open the scoring but his midfield partner Milos Dimitrejevic was outstanding for the home side, setting up both goals.

“It’s a great combination. Milos [Dimitrejevic] is getting better and better,” Arnold said of his midfield duo.

“Every time I say to him ‘you’re great’, he says ‘coach I’m only at 60 percent’. I can’t wait to see the full hundred.

“Him {Dimitrejevic] and Antonis are two very good footballers. They drive the team forward and are technically outstanding.”

The clash was the first time Arnold has come up against his former club since taking the reins of Sydney FC and he admits he’s “glad it’s out of the way”.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for those players that are left on the coast and I’ve got a lot of feelings for that club after the three years I had there,” he said.

“It was always a date I looked at when we would first play the Mariners and thankfully that’s out of the way now.

“Mossy [Mariners coach Phil Moss] is doing a good job up there. I had no emotion towards the game, for me it was just another game of football that wanted the three points."