Sky Blues deny discipline problem
The statistics may suggest otherwise, but Sydney FC defender Seb Ryall insists the Sky Blues don't have a discipline problem.
An injury-hit Sydney's run to the A-League finals hasn't been helped by copping suspensions aplenty in recent weeks and amassing the league's worst bookings count.
Striker Joel Griffiths and goalkeeping coach Zeljko Kalac were handed three-match bans for abusing match officials last week, while Terry McFlynn, Fabio and Tiago Calvano have all seen red cards in Sydney's past two games.
The Sky Blues have a league-high 58 yellow cards for the season, three more than any other side, while their four red cards for the season are matched only by the Newcastle Jets.
Ryall admitted the card count in recent weeks wasn't ideal but denied it represented a wider problem of frustration within the team.
"I don't think there's a problem with discipline," Ryall said on Tuesday.
"Here at Sydney FC we're very dedicated to keeping the game clean and we've got some red cards in the last few weeks but I think generally this year we've been pretty good.
"It is a bit of an issue getting red cards and suspensions but I don't see it as a problem.
"We'll just be ready for next match to play a fair game."
Griffiths' suspension and McFlynn's red card in last week's 2-2 draw with Newcastle means both will be missing when the Sky Blues host reigning champions Brisbane on Sunday.
But Sydney could be boosted by the return of Jason Culina and Brett Emerton from injury and they also welcome back defenders Fabio and Tiago from suspension.
The struggling Roar have improved in recent weeks to sneak into the top six and Ryall expects a meeting of two desperate teams at Allianz Stadium.
"They're on the up as well," Ryall said of the Roar.
"We're up for a big match this weekend."
The match marks both sides' 200th A-League game and Ryall recalled sitting in the stands as a 16-year-old fan for Sydney's first league match against Melbourne Victory in August, 2005.
"For me that will always be a special night because now I play for Sydney FC and I'm part of it now," he said.
The Sky Blues will face the Tahiti national side in a behind-closed-doors training match on Wednesday as coach Frank Farina makes the most of a seven-day preparation for Sunday's game.