SYDNEY FC striker Joel Chianese has insisted the Sky Blues are not a one-man team as they prepare to face Western Sydney Wanderers in Saturday's derby clash without their Italian maestro Alessandro Del Piero.
The 38-year-old limped from the field with a calf injury after half an hour of Saturday's 4-0 shellacking at the hands of Brisbane.
All four goals were conceded after Del Piero departed and while the veteran is yet to be ruled out of the derby, he is almost certain to be sidelined this weekend.
"The reason we lost isn't because he went off," Chianese said of Del Piero, who took no part in Monday's session.
"Obviously he's an important part in our team but we've got to step up when he's not on the field. If he is missing this week we'll fix that, another player will come in and do a job.
"We've got a big game and a big occasion and we stepped up in the first round so we've got to do that again."
Chianese refuted suggestions the Sky Blues are a one-man team and denied the claim bothers the rest of the players.
"You don't try to listen to that kind of talk," he said. "We know how big a player he is and he is an important part of our team but we know that if the other 10 players don't step up, then we won't win games.
"Whether he's in the team or not, we need to play our best and play how the coach wants us to play, not how we played on Saturday.
"We'll be better this week definitely."
Midfielder Ali Abbas added of Del Piero's likely absence: "It's a big problem for us but I think we have players that can come in and do the job and hopefully as a team we can focus for this game and I think it's going to be okay for us.
"Obviously we were really disappointed in our loss last week but we have to forget that and focus for next week."
Chianese says the first Sydney derby of the season has arrived at the perfect time as the Sky Blues look to atone in front of their home fans.
"It's probably come at the right time for us after a bad loss, we know if you can't step up for a derby you're not really in this game," Chianese said.
"That's the main reason you want to play, big games in front of a big crowd, we should have over 30,000 fans there hopefully.
"Morale is okay now at training so we have to just work really hard."
Meanwhile, Panamanian forward Yairo Yau is back from international duty and will be available for selection against a Wanderers side still looking for their first win this season after consecutive draws in the first two rounds.