Embattled Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has spoken of the belief in his squad after notching their second win in a row with a 2-0 victory over the Newcastle Jets to move into the top four on the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Farina has been under fire from a section of fans and critics for the past month, with some calling for his sacking. However the former Socceroos coach has stood firm and with the club gaining some momentum, he revealed that he always felt confident that his side could turn their form around.
"I have always had the belief that we could fight our way out of the situation that we were in, and all the bombs that were being thrown in the last two, three weeks from all angles," Farina told the media after the 2-0 win in Newcastle.
"But I thought the players showed great character – both last week where it was a 'must-win', and to back it up this week shows the character in our club, in our team."
The Sky Blues sat back and absorbed the pressure for the first hour against the Jets before snatching the lead with a Sasa Ognenovski header from an Alessandro Del Piero corner in the 60th minute.
Del Piero then did it all himself, winning a penalty when Jets defender Taylor Regan brought him down in the box, and then converting from the spot to seal Sydney's ninth victory of the season.
"We wanted to sit and do what they (Newcastle) did to Brisbane, frustrate them a bit, and see what they would do in the first half, so we sat off (them)," Farina explained of his side's tactics.
"The second half wasn't intentional, the wind plays a bit of a factor there and they had three or four corners on the trot, so we were on the back foot.
"The first half was a bit scrappy – I thought we turned over too much possession. When we won the ball we were giving it straight back. With the wind behind us, the diagonal ball was one of our outlets, but it was almost impossible because the ball was just flying.
"In the second half we changed it a bit and moved Alessandro (Del Piero) from the 10 role out to the left side of the three attackers and bought Ali Abbas back into the middle to try to dominate that area – and it was better; it wasn't great, but it was better."
Despite the win and the rise to fourth place on the ladder, Farina said the club wasn't thinking about finals football at this stage.
"(It was) a huge three points for us. The past month has been a grind for everyone at the club," he said.
"We are not thinking about the finals at this stage. There is still seven games to go and there will be more twists and turns to come that's for sure – so any points you get are very valuable."