Brosque could start against Mariners
Photo Source: AAP
Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque could be in line for his first A-League start since February when the Sky Blues aim to back up their epic Sydney derby win against Central Coast.
Brosque, who has recovered from off-season hamstring surgery, scored a fourth unanswered goal against Western Sydney during a 20-minute cameo off the bench last weekend.
With powerful winger Bernie Ibini also vying for selection after overcoming a bad broken leg, Graham Arnold has some tough selection decisions to make about who of his fully stocked attack to deploy against the Mariners at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
"Brosquey is in really good shape, obviously confidence is high, we know how important he is to the team," Arnold said.
"Bernie Ibini is also ready to play, so I've got a couple of headaches between now and the game to decide on the starting line-up and the squad for Saturday, with one eye on the FFA Cup (semi-final) next Wednesday."
Arnold quickly brought his players down to Earth after last Saturday's win over the Wanderers, a 4-0 drubbing in front of a record crowd at ANZ Stadium.
The challenge now is proving they can be consistent, a quality they lacked last season.
Arnold said he made it clear there would no complacency as the Sky Blues prepare for a traditionally feisty fixture with the club he coached to the 2012-13 championship.
They could be tested by a Paul Okon-coached Mariners that came from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Perth, in a performance Arnold described as "big-hearted".
And there's no shortage of player crossover to add spice.
Former Sydney men Jacques Faty, Mickael Tavares and Ivan Necevski were all snapped up by now-sacked Mariners coach Tony Walmsley after they were let go by Arnold at the end of last season.
Meanwhile, Central Coast's all-time leading goalscorer Matt Simon is with Sydney while off-season recruits Ibini, Alex Wilkinson and Danny Vukovic started their A-League careers in Gosford.
Arnold said there were no hard feelings towards his former trio, indicating their departure was no more than a business move to ensure he got his roster right.
But he took a swipe at Faty and Tavares, who were standouts in Sydney's 2014-15 grand-final run but fell out of form last season.
"Jacques and Mickey did a fantastic job for us in the first year they were here, we obviously know what their strengths are," Arnold said.