Skipper Alex Brosque says Sydney FC can lean on their mental stranglehold over Western Sydney Wanderers to help give them the edge in Saturday night’s Sydney Derby.
While admitting the Sky Blues’ form is not where they want it to be, Brosque says there’s no better opponent to face to help snap his side out of their mini-slump.
After all, Sydney FC has practically owned this fixture for the last few years.
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The Sky Blues have won 10 of the last 15 Harbour City clashes in all competitions, losing just once.
While Brosque is still a ‘proud westie’ (he just bought a new house in the west), he loves nothing more than getting one over his club’s fiercest rivals.
“For us, we’re well aware how dominant we’ve been in this fixture, there’s a reason that’s been the case,” Brosque told www.a-league.com.au on Thursday.
“The hunger our boys have going into these matches…this one has that extra bit of spice for us and we’re always well prepared for it.
“Knowing that you have the edge over a team for a certain period of time is definitely on our minds.
“We know how dominant we have been in the last few years especially against the Wanderers and I think that has gotten us over the line a lot of times, especially recently.”
Brosque added: “I love the banter. In all fairness, everyone out there has been very respectful since day one.
“Considering I’m the captain of the team they hate more than anyone on this planet, they could be a lot worse to me.”
Don’t be fooled by Brosque’s confidence though.
He knows the Sky Blues must be better than what they have dished up in the 3-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix, as well as the scrappy 2-1 win over lowly Central Coast the week before.
The Sky Blues are currently third, six points behind first-placed Perth Glory and four off Melbourne Victory in second spot.
Giving their success of the last two seasons – where the club won back-to-back Premierships – it’s unfamiliar territory for Steve Corica’s men.
“We’re not where we want to be. But we’ve set a real high bar for ourselves the last couple of years and everyone expects us to be winning every single game,” Brosque said.
“While we’re not where we want to be at the moment, we’re not far off. We need to tighten up a few little things and this derby will get us back on the right foot.
“Maybe these last couple of weeks is what we needed to snap out of any sort of complacency and just assuming we are going to finish top again.
“We need to be reminded sometimes that we still have to put in the hard work to achieve those goals.”
One player who could help Sydney FC get to where they want to be is marquee man Siem de Jong.
The high-profile Dutch recruit has been restricted to just three appearances so far this season due to injury but could get a start at ANZ Stadium as Corica considers tinkering with his out-of-sorts side.
And his presence could be just what Sydney FC need according to the skipper.
“He can make a difference for us. He’s just a class player and one that’s very rare around the world in his touch, his awareness and his finishing is brilliant,” Brosque said of de Jong.
“Once he’s fully back on board he’ll just add another dimension to our game.
“He’s someone who has that x-factor. We brought him here to win games for us and change games for us.
“It’s been frustrating for him because we know how much he wants to be out there. Even him being in training has lifted our level and the sooner we get him out on the park will be massive for us.”
You can watch the 20th Sydney Derby in the Hyundai A-League
Get tickets to the match at ANZ Stadium here.