Desperation stakes for Graham Arnold’s Sky Blues
SUNCORP Stadium hasn't been kind to manager Graham Arnold, but he believes his stuttering Sydney FC can re-ignite its A-League season against defending champion Brisbane tonight.
Not too many football fans will ever forget Arnold's anguish after losing the 2010-2011 grand final to the Roar 4-2 on penalties after his side, Central Coast, was 2-0 up with just three minutes of extra-time to play.
That loss won't be playing on Arnold's mind tonight as fifth-placed Sydney FC, which is battling injuries and a form slide, attempts to head into the 2015 side of the draw on a winning note at Brisbane's expense.
Despite being punished 3-0 by Adelaide United last week, Arnold believes his players are close to securing the turnaround win they need to get them moving back up the ladder.
Arnold warned Brisbane the tough times were the times he enjoyed most.
"I like the tough times better than the good times, I know that might sound strange," said an upbeat Arnold.
"I like the tough times more because they test you, they bring out the best in people and that's the message I am trying to get through the dressing room."
It's also a huge game for Brisbane, which, after dumping its coach Mike Mulvey, it's still languishing back in seventh place, a long way behind where the club budgeted on being heading into the new year.
The Roar scored three goals last weekend against Central Coast but had to settle for a draw after a remarkable five-goal second half and will be desperate to close 2014 with a much-needed win.