Carle plans Japan attack

March 2, 2011
By Liam FitzGibbon

Midfielder Nick Carle says Sydney FC must head into their first daunting Asian Champions League road trip targeting no less than a win after opening with a draw in their first home match.

A gallant Sky Blues salvaged a valuable point in their campaign opener against Korea's Suwon Blues on Wednesday night, despite losing captain Terry McFlynn to a red card just 34 minutes in.

Sydney's next assignment comes in a fortnight against J-League outfit Kashima Antlers, who won last year's Emperors Cup.

An Australian team has never won on Japanese soil in an ACL match, while Melbourne Victory were humbled 5-1 away to Gamba Osaka in their opening match on Tuesday.

But Carle said Sydney had to believe they could create history in the Southern Japanese city if they were to give themselves the best chance of progressing through a tough group.

"From a group point of view you always want to win your home games so it's going to change our outlook of the game because we didn't win at home, although I think it was a very important point considering," Carle said.

"But watching the (Victory) game it shows that if you're not up for it right from the start, in five or ten minutes the game could be over against quality opposition.

"We have to be smart because you don't want to leave yourselves exposed against good sides like that ... but as a player you go out in every game wanting to win the game.

"If you go in looking for a draw, you're going to be to be hanging on for 90 and I don't like playing that way.

"So hopefully we go out there with the right attitude and we go for all three points but be smart about it because they're obviously going to be a brilliant side."

Sydney will miss their skipper McFlynn through suspension following his red card for stomping on Suwon striker Lee Sang-Ho in the first half of a bruising encounter.

The Northern Irishman apologised to his teammates and coach Vitezslav Lavicka after the match and insisted there was no malice in the tackle.

And he backed the Sky Blues to perform well in his absence in Japan.

"I'm sure the boys will go over there and do a fantastic job," he said.

"I think (the draw) will instil everyone with a lot more confidence. We're still unbeaten in 2011 and it's a good step forward for the club."