Friday, December 14, 2012
Farina intent on fixing Sydney FC defence
By James MacSmith
New coach Frank Farina is confident he is on his way to plugging Sydney FC's leaky A-League defence after his first week at the helm of the struggling Sky Blues.Sydney conceded a whopping 18 goals in five games before Farina's arrival last Friday and the former Socceroos' mentor believes they can build on just their second clean sheet of the season against Melbourne Heart in the round-nine scoreless draw."We conceded so many goals in the previous five weeks, to keep a clean sheet that does help with confidence, but we have to maintain that," Farina said on Friday."If we can continue to keep clean sheets ... we will score ..."We want to try and get ourselves in a position where we can end the season really, really strongly."Farina has increased training significantly in his first full week ahead of Sunday's clash with Wellington.The ex-Brisbane Roar coach was more than an observer in the Heart match - which produced Sydney's first premiership point since October 20 - but officially took the reins from caretaker coach Steve Corica after the draw."It has been a decent week - the intensity in training has been good," Farina said."That is all good ... but what happens on the weekend is what's important. But if they take the same intensity they have shown in training this week into the game, I will be happy."There are high expectations for the club. We are sitting at the bottom of the table and we are there for a reason. We have to change things, and that will happen over time. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of that. So we have to push as quickly as we can."Defender Pascal Bosschaart said Farina had put some much-needed starch into Sydney's preparation."He is a very, very hard coach - you see it right away, (there are) double training sessions and no days off ..."We have been training hard and that is good for the boys."No disrespect to the previous coach but this is how you have to train - we have to train hard. This is his (Frank's) style and it is a great style. If we can get a good result in Wellington, it's massive."Farina's task against the Phoenix has been made harder by Alessandro Del Piero's absence due to a hamstring injury, while Brett Emerton and Terry Antonis are with the Socceroos in Hong Kong.Farina said Blake Powell would likely replace Del Piero for Sydney's second trip to Wellington this season.The first ended in a 2-0 defeat in which their defensive frailties were first exposed.