Ivan Franjic is relishing the challenge of taking on Sydney FC at nib Stadium on Friday evening.
The Glory defender has been in fine form this season, helping the men in purple to secure consecutive clean sheets in their last two outings, while also getting forward so effectively that he currently leads the Hyundai A-League in terms of crosses delivered into the box.
And he is backing Tony Popovic’s men to maintain what is the club’s best ever start to an A-League campaign at the expense of a Sky Blues side that has been the competition’s dominant force in recent years.
“We set out to be top at the end of the year and we’re just taking it game by game,” he said.
“Obviously Victory keep winning and putting pressure on us, but we’ve been responding well and we just need to keep going.
“Sydney FC are close and this is a good opportunity to open up a bit of a gap on them.
“In fact our next two home games are against Sydney FC and we know it’s never been easy for teams to come to the West in the past, so now we want to make it [nib Stadium] a fortress again. We have another opportunity to do that on Friday night.”
The visitors have made a somewhat inconsistent start under new Head Coach Steve Corica, but Franjic feels that they will still present a stern challenge.
“It’s always different when you have a new coach,” he said, “but they are still a quality team with quality all around the park. But as we’ve shown in recent weeks, so have we.
“We respect every opponent, but we always focus upon ourselves.
“We’ve believed in our ability as a squad since day one of pre-season and I think we’re showing that now. It seems like we still fly under the radar a little bit, but we’ve been up the top for a while now and people are starting to talk about us.”
The Round 9 clash is part of a fantastic double-header at nib Stadium and you can grab your tickets to see our Westfield W-League and Hyundai A-League teams both attempt to preserve their unbeaten records by clicking HERE.
You can view Ivan’s presser in full here below…