Rudan happy for Sydney United to wear favourites tag

Sydney United 58 coach Mark Rudan says his team is happy to viewed as the favourites as they get ready to take on South Hobart in the FFA Cup.

The NPL NSW club will host the Tasmanian side at Sydney United Sports Centre on August 4. With a home advantage, Rudan is not fazed by being tagged as the favourite.

“No issue at all,” he told FourFourTwo Australia.

“We've been very successful over the last few years winning trophies. We're always the hunted. We embrace the tag and challenge.”

Sydney United 58 reached the round of 16 in the Cup last year, where it was knocked out 3-1 by Sydney FC. South Hobart, however, failed to get past Tuggeranong United in the round of 32.

The two teams have history, with Sydney United 58 defeating the Tasmanian club 2-0 in 2013 in the National Premier Leagues final.

Rudan is expecting a difficult encounter.

“We knew they'd be a tough opponent as they knocked out the South Australian champions,” he said.

“They had pace out wide and weren't afraid to keep possession.  I've received DVD's of their last two games however and have made a few notes.

“It'll be similar to when we last played and beat them in the inaugural NPL championship final – a tough encounter.”

United currently sit in sixth position on the NPL NSW ladder with eight wins, one draw and 10 losses this season. South Hobart is one point clear at the top of the
PS4 Victory League after beating Olympia FC Warriors 1-0.

Nikas Panagiotis and Chris Triantis top United’s scoring charts this season with six and four goals respectively.

Rudan said United has had a successful year so far after already adding two trophies to their impressive collection.

“We won the pre-season cup, qualified for yet another FFA Cup and recently won the prestigious Waratah Cup,” he said.

“We've achieved all this by also regularly starting teenagers, which no other team in the top five can attain to."

Rudan is hopeful his club can draw a crowd of between 3,000 to 5,000 fans to the FFA Cup match next week.

“It’s difficult to put a number on it,” he admits.

‘”If weather permits we're looking at anything between 3000-5000. It's quite beneficial playing at home because our loyal fans get an opportunity to watch and support the players in bigger numbers.

“It also allows us to have a better preparation.”