Graham Arnold targeting A-League record 70 points for Sydney FC
Graham Arnold is a numbers man and he's using them to inspire his Sydney FC side to reach new A-League heights.
Just minutes after his side's 4-0 triumph over Melbourne City opened up a 12-point lead at the top of the table, Arnold was comparing his team's position after 20 rounds to where they were last year.
"We're chasing our record from last year," he said. "We're two points ahead of that.
"We've got nine goals more than what we've had than last year.
"That's how I motivate the boys."
Last year's double-winning team smashed the previous record by tallying 66 points and Arnold has challenged his side to eclipse that record.
"66 points is the greatest in the history of Australian football and we're chasing 67 points," Arnold said.
"There's still 21 points to play for and we're on 49 points so we've got a possibility of getting 70 and that's what we're after."
A new record would require the Sky Blues to win six of their remaining seven games. And who'd bet against them?
The Sky Blues must leave New South Wales just once, for a trip to Perth, with away days in Newcastle and Gosford in addition to visits by Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne Victory.
But before they resume in the league -- in a fortnight's time against Western Sydney Wanderers -- a new challenge begins.
Sydney FC host Suwon Bluewings -- including ex-Sky Blue Mathew Jurman -- on Valentine's Day to begin their AFC Champions League campaign.
Given their runaway domestic success, many believe Sydney can be contenders -- including Arnold.
"I really believe we've got the team and players to go a long way," he said.
"Obviously it's early days .... the first thing is to get to the last 16, to top our group and go from there."
The million-dollar question is whether Arnold will be there to see it out.
The 54-year-old is the unbackable favourite to take the Socceroos job after the World Cup in June and move out of club coaching.
"All I can do is win every game up until that break at the end of May and we'll see what happens," he said.