Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has warned his side their inconsistent form could prove costly if they make the A-League finals, despite a convincing 4-1 triumph over a short-handed Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night at Allianz Stadium.
The result means the Sky Blues are in the box seat for a finals position. Sitting in sixth, they are three points ahead of seventh-placed Newcastle and are three goals better off in terms of goal advantage.
Sydney have the chance to seal a spot in the top six when they face Perth Glory in their last match of the regular season, although a loss will leave them in jeopardy of dropping out should Newcastle beat Adelaide.
On Sunday night, though, Alessandro Del Peiro was the star for the home fans (and pantomime villain for away supporters) in scoring two first-half goals. The first came after a dubious penalty decision and the second from a tremendous free kick, before Seb Ryall and Ali Abbas scored in the second period, with Wellington's loan goal coming via a Carlos Hernandez penalty.
Yet, while the big win was welcome, it also hinted at other issues for Farina that may come back to haunt his side.
"We have got to be more consistent with that and we haven't been," said Farina.
"In previous games we have given away far too much possession too easily and tonight was one of the good examples, a bit like Victory away - the 5-0 - which was very good as well.
"But they are too sporadic for my liking, but at this stage of the season where it is the business end it is pleasing but we have to back that up."
The former Socceroos boss was quick to quash any notion of Sydney FC's win was only due to the influence of 39 year-old Italian marquee Del Piero.
"That's opinions from different people," stated Farina of the former Juventus legend's impact.
"I thought collectively we were very good today. Alessandro scored twice but I think it was a great team performance.
Farina said his team can handle the pressure of needing to win next week's clash to guarantee a spot in the finals.
"The spotlight is more on us than it is on anyone else," Farina said. "There are other teams in that same position (trying to make the finals).
"We are big enough and strong enough physically and mentally to handle that as a group.
"We got out each week to try to be successful, win games and try to win the comp.
The topsy-turvy nature of the Sky Blue's season, one that's seen fans take umbrage at Sydney's management and call for Farina's head – has meant the side has faced constant pressure said Farina.
"We have gone 26 games with pressure every week for whatever reason, coming from wherever so it's not a problem trust me," he said.
Despite the fact the match was played in wet conditions Farina thought his player's improved as the fixture wore on and he doesn't expect to change their training schedule heading in to the finals.
"We have got a week and they are professional footballers so that's not an issue," said Farina.
"We will have the same schedule that we have had in place for his week, nothing will change there."
And Farina refused to concede his side wasn't a chance of taking the title if they make the top six.
"The finals are a new competition but history shows one or two normally take the title, but there is always a first time," he said.comments