Match Preview – Garcia expecting reaction after positive week

Richard Garcia is backing his side to put last weekend’s defeat behind them and bounce back in style against Sydney FC at HBF Park on Saturday (kick-off is at 4.05pm, tickets HERE).

View his full pre-match media conference HERE.

The Head Coach felt that individual errors cost Glory dear in their homecoming clash with Adelaide United on Sunday and called on his players to do better in the coming weeks.

And he has been pleased with the squad’s reaction to that message.

“They’ve taken it very well,” he said.

“They were the first people to put their hands up and understand the errors and that’s fantastic.

“That’s what you want; you want accountability and the guys to learn from their mistakes.

“So it’s been a positive week in training.

“We have a group of players that is very much still in that learning phase.

“It’s a very young squad, or an inexperienced squad is probably a better way to put it and you learn from your experiences.

“So we definitely do have to stamp out those little errors that cost us and then keep performing in the manner and growing on that performance that we had last week and the week before that.

“We’ve got to repeat the same behaviours over and over again.

“It’s when we switch off that we get punished, so we’ve got to be a little bit more effective in what we do.”

Glory will be up against a Sydney FC side in the midst of a three-game losing streak, but Garcia was quick to point out that their current indifferent form should not disguise the quality in the Sky Blues’ ranks.

“They’ll be looking to bounce back after a series of results that have gone against them,” he said.

“They’ve always got a dangerous squad of players and we’re going to have to be at our best, but it’s very much in our hands in terms of what we do.

“We’re at home, we want to be on the front foot and playing the stuff we know we can play.”

In terms of early team news, the Head Coach confirmed that Brad Jones is set to return, while Kosuke Ota will miss out and he also provided an update on Daniel Sturridge.

“Adrian [Sardinero] can play a few more minutes,” he said, “Andy [Keogh] can play a few more minutes and Pac [Pacifique Niyongabire] can play a few more minutes, which is fantastic.

“That gives us a little bit more going forward and it’s good to have those guys coming back into the fold, but we have lost a couple as well, including Kosuke.

“So some come in and some go out and that’s part of the heavy schedule.

“Brad is in as well and it’s fantastic to have him returning.

“Liam [Reddy] went down injured at half-time in the last game and it’s great to have that experience back in goal.

“Cameron [Cook] has done a fantastic job in the games that he has played and he’ll continue to grow and get better, but it just help to have some big experience behind the defence.

“Daniel is training pretty well.

“We’re hoping to get him in the fold at the back end of next week and then see how he progresses from there.

“It might be touch and go that back end of next week, but if not, it’ll be the week that we go away again.”

The Sky Blues may have lost just once in their last ten regular-season visits to HBF Park, but Glory will be out to do the double over Steve Corica’s side having downed them 2-1 in Kogarah in Round 7.

Consecutive defeats to Western United, Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers have seen the New South Welshmen slip outside the top six, although they did secure a place in the Group Stage of the AFC Champions League in midweek with a resounding 5-0 victory over Philippines outfit, Kaya F.C.-IIoilo.

Anthony Caceres and Bobo are their joint-leading scorers this term with four apiece, while Elvis Kamsoba has bagged three, but he won’t feature on Saturday after being ruled out for at least six weeks by an MCL injury.