Sydney turn corner and stare down Victory
There is an air of confidence surrounding Sydney's late-season surge, and skipper Terry McFlynn believes it signals an unlikely A-League finals appearance.
The defending premiers endured a horror start to this year, waiting until round 11 before they secured their first victory, and have been playing catch-up ever since.
But after finally producing back-to-back victories for the first time this year, McFlynn has seen the confidence and belief flowing through the club once again - and it feels like a finals team once again.
"Obliviously after putting together back-to-back wins people are a bit more happy around the place at the minute," McFlynn told AAP.
"I think the pleasing thing over the last couple of games has not only been the wins, but actually the performances have been better the past three games.
"There's no doubt this season has been a difficult one ... but the belief and the desire has always been there in the squad.
"We knew that only hard work and determination could get us out of the situation we got ourselves into in the early part of the season.
"And now we know exactly we have to do going into the last run in of games - we have to keep winning games.
"If we can do that, and we'll get a hand this weekend hopefully with a big home crowd behind us, then we'll be ready to make a push for the finals."
After victories over Newcastle and the Gold Coast, Sydney now sit eight points out of a finals spot with six games to play.
And they'll never get a better opportunity to claw points back from fifth-placed Melbourne Victory.
Sydney's fiercest rivals will be missing key strikers Archie Thompson and Robbie Kruse, as well as skipper Kevin Muscat who is serving a suspension after being sent off in Melbourne's 4-1 loss to Adelaide United.
"We don't really focus too much on their personnel, we know they've got quality players who can come in and replace the players that they've lost," McFlynn said.
"We've got a belief in ourselves and there's a bit of confidence around the place at the minute that we've got to keep this little run that we're on and we've got to keep it going.
"Regardless of who we're playing we know we have to win this game.
"There's still that belief amongst the squad that we're turning that corner and we're turning performances into results now, and we're looking forward to continuing that on Saturday night."