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Jan 9, 2008

Kossie gets support from unlikely source

Support for Sydney FC coach John Kosmina has come from an unlikely source ahead of Sunday's crunch A-League game against Queensland.

Roar coach Frank Farina has dipped his hat to a man once considered public enemy No.1 at Suncorp Stadium.

The once Brisbane-based Kosmina is usually the man Roar supporters love to hate since a sideline spat led to a testy relationship with former Queensland coach Miron Bleiberg.

But Farina sounded like a fan as he sized up the long-awaited clash that could decide the A-League minor premiership.

As he looked forward to welcoming Robbie Kruse (hamstring), Danny Tiatto (back/hamstring) and Michael Zullo (thigh) back into his side against Sydney FC, Farina took time to give Kosmina an unexpected rap.

Since taking over from the sacked Branko Culina in round 10, Kosmina has lifted Sydney FC to within sight of top spot.

They are on 30 points, along with second placed Queensland, just one point behind leaders Central Coast with two regular season games left.

"Kossie definitely has something to do with Sydney's form. They're on a good run and have won their last three games away from home, albeit two of them against 10 men," Farina told reporters.

"They've turned it around and they're probably the form team in the league at the moment, but Sydney have always been a good side with good players.

"It just makes Sunday even more interesting."

Farina is hopeful young striker Kruse will play after being forced to withdraw from the Olyroos camp earlier this week due to the injury he suffered in Queensland's 2-1 loss to Melbourne last Saturday.

The youngster trained for the first time on Wednesday and clearly impressed Farina.

Farina will be sweating on Kruse with fellow striker Reinaldo suspended for the Sydney clash.

Korean defender Hyuk-Su Seo (calf) and utility Stuart McLaren (ankle) will also miss the game.

Zullo is all but guaranteed a run against Sydney FC after not being risked against Melbourne as he recovered from a long term thigh complaint.

Simon Lynch and Zoran Petrevski are also in the mix as a possible replacement for Reinaldo.

Zullo, Marcinho, Seo, Ben Griffin and McLaren all have one more yellow card to go before they are forced to sit out a game.

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