Sydney crisis water off duck's back for Petkovic

He's played in some of the most volatile and hostile leagues in the world so the events toxic events at Sydney FC this past week are "nothing special" to defender Nikola Petkovic.

Having spent most of his career playing in Serbia, Russia, Turkey or Germany, Petkovic is well-credentialed to talk about pressure and clubs in crisis. 

But regardless of his experience, there's no doubt it's been a tumultuous few days for everyone at the Sky Blues.

Fans protesting and unfurling banners calling for the sacking of coach Frank Farina, chairman Scott Barlow and CEO Tony Pignata is as bad as it gets at an A-League club.

While Farina has received most of the heat for the side's plight – which is one win from their last eight matches – Petkovic believes it's the players that deserve most of the criticism.

"Here is too easy. Everyone says this is pressure, but this is not pressure," the Serbian defender told reporters on Thursday.

"I think maybe if we have more pressure we will feel the problem.

"The players just need to switch on and think about our job on the field because no one can play for us - not the board or the president or Farina.

"To be honest for me this is nothing special.

"I come from a country where you have one draw and you're in trouble with the fans but there it's different, they attack the players not the coaching staff and the board."

While the crowd reaction and fallout from Saturday's 3-0 home loss to Adelaide has been hard to deal with, Petkovic hopes the team can use it as motivation for the remainder of the season.

Despite the doom and gloom around Moore Park, Sydney remain just one point out of the top six and could move back into it with a victory over Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

Asked of the events of the last week could galvanise the team, Petkovic said: "This is the biggest motivation for us I think.

"We have the supporters, the newspaper, everything is against us and if this is not motivation then we are not the right players for this team.

"We have to deal with this and we have to keep going to prove ourselves on Saturday night."

Petkovic is likely to have a new central-defensive partner for the Glory clash, with Socceroos veteran Sasa Ognenovski set for his Sydney debut after signing with the club last week.

Youngster Terry Antonis could also be in line for his first appearance of the season after making a strong return from injury through the National Youth League over the last few weeks.


SHARES
comments