'Crisis was kickstart we needed'

SYDNEY FC’s Serbian defender Nikola Petkovic says the club’s decision to banish Nicky Carle and Matt Thompson from training might be the jolt the squad needs to “switch on”.

Carle and Thompson were exiled from Sky Blues training early in the week for disciplinary reasons, but returned to first-team training on Thursday morning.

The decision came amid increasing pressure on coach Frank Farina following a 3-0 loss to Adelaide United, which left the Sky Blues with just four points from their past eight matches.

But Petkovic says he's has previously played under similar pressure in his homeland with Red Star Belgrade and believes this week’s developments might jolt the team to life.

“Maybe it’s a good reaction for the team. Everyone starts to think ‘what is this now’?,” Petkovic, 27, said. “We support each other, Nicky and Thommo are back with us again.

"But for me maybe it is good action, some players will switch on after this.”

Petkovic said the criticism from media and supporters provided the ultimate incentive for the squad to respond.

“If you have the supporters and the newspapers against us, this is the biggest motivation for us,” Petkovic said.

“We have to deal with this. It’s normal, there’s the pressure of Sydney FC. We need to rectify this.”

Petkovic admitted the situation hadn’t been easy for the group, but insisted the players needed to stand up in Saturday’s home clash with Perth Glory, who are winless in their past four.

He added: “No one can play for us. No supporters, no president, no Farina, we are the 11 players on the pitch.

"We just need to focus.”