Pignata hails Sydney's Frank and fearless

EXCLUSIVE: Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata says head coach Frank Farina has the club’s total support and the Sky Blues are out to win the A-League.

After seven rounds, Sydney FC sit in fourth place on the ladder with 12 points, three off league leaders Brisbane Roar.

The Sky Blues have managed four wins and three losses, bouncing back after three defeats in the first four rounds to record three victories in a row.

New striker Ranko Despotovic popped up with an injury-time goal for a 10-man Sydney FC to steal a win over Wellington Phoenix last weekend.

“The season’s got better but it’s still early days,” Pignata said. “Slowly things are getting better which has been good.

“It just goes to show the group and the mental strength, fighting down to the 94th minute. Frank’s instilled that.

“You know in this game you have to play out right until the last second and we were fortunate enough to get the three points on the weekend.”

Pignata said Serbian marksman Despotovic has made a good start to his Sky Blues career and the club wants to keep climbing the table.

“Ranko’s got a good pedigree,” he said. “We always wanted a striker since Joel [Griffiths] left in July and he came on the radar and we were luckily enough to snatch him.

“We’ll see how he goes, he’s got to adapt, but a great start hitting the winner on the weekend.

“Every team that plays in the A-league wants to win it, and we’re no different. Finish as high as we can and once you make the playoffs, it’s like another season starts with the finals.

“Our aim is to finish as high as we can and then we’ll go from there.”

Head coach Farina came in for some heavy criticism in the early part of the season, particularly on social media.

The former Socceroo boss, who was appointed by Sydney FC one year ago, responded to some critics with a post on his blog several weeks ago.

“Sydney FC’s a big club,” Pignata said. “The expectations are enormous from the media, the fans.

“But the board and everyone involved at the club has been totally supportive of Frank.

“We know what he’s trying to do, and with Rado coming in, it takes time, this is sort of his first season.

“He basically came in for 10 games last year.  He’s got our total support.

“He probably has received unfair criticism but that’s what you get when you’re at Sydney FC. A couple of losses triggers everything.

“Three weeks ago everyone wanted him sacked, but things change. He’s well aware of that.

“The club is sticking together and we move forward. But with the expectations so high you’re going to get that at Sydney FC.”

With Pascal Bosschaart having been released by the club last month, Pignata says they are not looking to bring in another central defender.

“We’ve got Nikola Petkovic, he’s slotted in really well,” Pignata added.

“We’ve got Sebba, Matthew Jurman and Tiago, and we’ve got a youth player in Aaron Calver who played a few games last year. So we’re quite satisfied with what we’ve got at centre half.”

Meanwhile, Tiago has an anxious wait to see what ban he faces for making contact with referee Peter Green in Sydney FC’s 3-2 win over Melbourne Victory.

Tiago has already served a two-match ban and faces the possibility of being suspended from six to eight weeks.