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Jan 19, 2013

Sky Blues look to build on record win

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has challenged his rising A-League side to prove a record-breaking thrashing of Wellington Phoenix was no fluke.

The Sky Blues greatly boosted their finals hopes as a four-goal haul from Alessandro Del Piero inspired a 7-1 win over Wellington Phoenix, the club's biggest A-League victory.

After sitting bottom of the ladder only two weeks ago, Sydney's second straight win moved them just a point outside the top six.

And it also generated excitement about their potential to keep improving, with new signing Joel Griffiths making a strong impression on debut and linking in beautifully with Del Piero.

Farina felt the performance was a reward for the hard work his players had put in since he took over the club two months ago.

However he warned the performance would mean little if Sydney could not back it up in Saturday's daunting clash away to Melbourne Victory.

"It's three points, let's be realistic," Farina said.

"Next week we go to Melbourne and unless we continue to play like that or continue to fight and work hard, it means nothing.

"... It's just about the attitude and the mindset to believe we can play like that."

Del Piero is certainly hoping Sydney have turned the corner, believing last week's come-from-behind 2-1 win over Melbourne Heart was the catalyst for the performance against the Phoenix.

"For sure in the last game (against the Heart), I hope maybe something changed in our minds," Del Piero said.

"... Hopefully this is another step for our season.

"At the moment we have to talk about hope but we know with work we can do better for sure, day by day."

The 38-year-old Juventus and Italy great was simply brilliant as he scored four goals for the first time in a career spanning 22 years.

He appeared to flourish as Griffiths worked hard at the point of attack, allowing the Italian more freedom in a supporting role.

Del Piero delivered the through-ball as former Newcastle Jets star Griffiths scored the opener in his first A-League game in more than four years.

The partnership looks a promising one for the Sky Blues and Farina said Griffiths would get even better as he built match fitness in the coming weeks.

"Joel did quite well and that's his game; he's aggressive and he competes well," Farina said.

"He fights for every ball and he makes some good runs.

"He will get better as we go as well and we need him to continue on like that."

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