Milos Ninkovic of Sydney FC.
Milos Ninkovic of Sydney FC. DAN PELED

Pitch no hitch for Sky Blues

GRAHAM Arnold insists he isn't worried by the state of the Allianz Stadium pitch and believes the conditions may actually work to Sydney FC's advantage.

On Friday night South Sydney plays Manly in an NRL clash at Allianz Stadium, just 24 hours before the Sky Blues host the Perth Glory in the biggest game of their season, but Arnold says Perth will find it harder to adapt to the conditions than his players.

"We're actually better on that because technically we have the players who can deal with it," the Sydney coach said.

"It's not maybe at its best, but the way we press the opposition and the way we get in the opposition's faces and don't give them time on the ball, they will struggle with it more than us. So we're happy with it."

Fortunately, Sydney's most skilled player Milos Ninkovic will "100%" be on the field. The star playmaker limped off with an ankle injury against Newcastle during Sydney's last game, but Arnold says he has fully recovered and is fit to start against Perth.

"He was training individually at the end of last week and if we needed to push him to play last weekend he would have been fine," Arnold said. "He's trained all week with the group and did a physical session yesterday."

Rather than looking at the game as a knockout, Arnold says it's just round 28 of Sydney's record-breaking season and the players still have so much more to give.

It's for that reason he has dismissed any suggestions of complacency leading up to the game.

"There's no complacency here. I won't let that happen and the senior players won't let that happen," he said. "It's about improving every week.

"They've had a fantastic week of training - it's been exceptional. I keep saying it - I still believe we have more performance in us, we've still got improvement in us. All these players know individually that they've got an extra 5% or 10% in them.

"Then we'll have complacency, and that's called holidays."

News Corp Australia


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