Sydney eyeing off ACL tilt
Sydney FC hope to put a season of woe behind them and finish the A-League campaign with a bang as they set their sights on launching a successful tilt at the upcoming Asian Champions League.
Sydney roared to the A-League title last season but have barely fired a shot this campaign, languishing seven points adrift of sixth spot with just four games to play.
Although Sydney haven't given up hope of sneaking into the finals, skipper Terry McFlynn said the focus had somewhat shifted towards preparing for the upcoming ACL, which starts in early March.
"We'll never give up hope until it's impossible," McFlynn said of Sydney's A-League finals chances.
"We've put decent performances in recent weeks
"But we are really looking forward to the Champions League. Hopefully we can build some momentum leading into that.
"It's a very strong competition.
"It's our reward for winning the league last season. It's a challenge we're all looking forward to.
"I don't think we can dwell on the (A-League) season because you can't change what happened. You have to focus on the present and the future."
Sydney have posted two wins and two draws from their past four outings and will look to add to their points tally when they take on fellow strugglers Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
The Glory welcome back skipper Jacob Burns and midfielder Adriano Pellegrino, while star striker Robbie Fowler is also a chance to return from a hamstring injury.
Although Perth have endured a dismal season, netting just five wins and eight draws from 27 games, coach Ian Ferguson hopes to embark on a similar off-season rebuild to what Brisbane manager Ange Postecoglou initiated at the Roar last year.
"As you see what Ange has done at Brisbane, he's brought a lot of mobility in there, a lot of pace and a lot of young kids and I think that's the way of the future," Ferguson said.
"I just feel that that's the way we've got to go, along with experience.
"Don't get me wrong, we've got to bring experienced players in as well, we can't just play young kids.
"But there is going to be one or two opportunities for the younger kids here, it would be a real positive if we could find any (in the final few games).
"We are looking at youth ... and we also are looking at top class players to come in here."