Juninho, Bridge benched for Roar clash
Sydney FC glamour signings Juninho and Michael Bridges will settle for bench spots as John Kosmina sticks to a winning formula in Sunday's crucial A-League clash with Queensland.
The Suncorp Stadium match could have a huge bearing on the A-League minor premiership with both sides having booked a finals berth and sitting equal second on 30 points, one behind leaders Central Coast.
But despite having the Brazilian and Englishman fit again and at his disposal, coach Kosmina is sticking by his "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality.
Sydney are on the verge of their fourth successive win following last week's 2-0 win over Wellington in New Zealand.
"I've thought about it ... but I'm not going to change the starting line up as it stands at the moment," Kosmina said.
"With the players we've got available, it's great to have them on the sideline.
"But the team played really well last week - I said through the week it was probably our most solid performance (of the season)."
World Cup winner Juninho - Sydney's $1 million marquee player - has started on the bench in Sydney's past two matches since recovering from a knee injury.
Kosmina conceded the former Middlesbrough and Celtic midfielder would be frustrated at being unable to crack a spot in the starting side.
"I've played so I know what it's like. I sat on the bench towards the end of my career as well and it's not comfortable," Kosmina said.
"But the team's winning, it's getting results so you don't change it.
Former England Under-21 striker Bridges, whose loan deal from Hull City finishes at the end of this month - is kept out of the starting line-up by 25-year-old striker Brendon Santalab, who has impressed in his last two starts.
"He's in good form at the moment and his pace is electrifying - pace is always an advantage," Kosmina said of Santalab, whose recent long-range stunner against Adelaide is a candidate for goal of the year.
"He's had his best week of the season since I've been here on the training paddock so hopefully he can take that on to Suncorp Stadium on Sunday."
Skipper Tony Popovic said Sydney were mindful there were still two regular matches remaining but aware their minor premiership chances hinged on the Roar clash.
"It's in the back of everyone's mind," Popovic said.
"It's hard not to look at it as this game being a clear opportunity for either side to get top two and possibly the minor premiership."