Sluggish Sydney angers Arnold

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold admits he will look into his side’s training program after they were guilty of another slow start in Saturday night’s 0-0 stalemate with Melbourne Victory.

The Sky Blues were out-played for much of the opening half at Allianz Stadium before improving after the break to ensure they maintained their unbeaten start to the season. 

It’s a trait that has been constant throughout the opening six rounds and Arnold concedes it is a concern and something he will address immediately to ensure it improves. 

“I just had a meeting with our senior players and the coaching staff. I always look at why? If you’ve got one or two players that look flat in the first half you start thinking it’s only one or two but I thought everyone looked quite flat in the first half,” the Sky Blues boss said. 

“We’re going to sit down and look at our training programs tomorrow 

“I’ve always been someone who’s given the players the day after a game as recovery then the day after that a day off and then a four-day lead in (to the next game). 

“Maybe this group of players is different. You’ve always got to try and do something different to get the maximum out of the players and we’ll sit down and do that.”

In an entertaining encounter in front of more than 21,000 fans in Sydney, both sides created a host of chances but couldn’t find the decisive breakthrough. 

Sky Blues ‘keeper Vedran Janjetovic was superb for the home side, pulling off a string of fine saves in the first 45 minutes including three from Archie Thompson chances. 

While admitting the visitors were probably the better side, Arnold praised his side’s defence that have now kept four consecutive clean sheets, the first time the club has done that since January 2010. 

“We’ve come a long way. Defensively we’re very strong and the character, courage and fight from the players is excellent,” Arnold said. 

“My philosophy is you have to put the footings down, then the slab and you can’t put the roof on until you do that.  You always build from the back and make sure you’re hard to beat. 

“We’re starting to get that attacking part going, the runs are better but when you lose three or four players out of your starting line-up it does takes its toll.”