AN exasperated Graham Arnold dismissed fresh talk of landing the Socceroos job as "hypothetical” and "not real”, declaring himself happy at Sydney FC ahead of their table-topping clash on Friday night.
Arnold faced a battery of cameras at Sydney's training ground on Thursday morning, after it was claimed on Fox Sports on Wednesday night that the Socceroos job was his - if he wanted it.
News Corp Australia understands that no approach has been made to Arnold, with the committee of ex-Socceroos and FFA staff designed to vet candidates meeting for the first time late on Wednesday evening.
Arnold confirmed that "nothing had been offered” since he answered similar questions a week before, though was "flattered” at being seen as the leading local candidate to succeed Ange Postecoglou.
"Nothing has changed since last week, it's exactly the same,” he said.
"As I said last week to the players, everyone around the world is watching what they and the staff do. I've had other interest outside Australia, and for me the most important thing is my next decision and making it for my family and my beautiful wife, as I'm getting older myself.”
Asked when he expected that decision would come, Arnold said as far as he knew it would come at the expiry of his contract, in 18 months' time.
"Nothing has changed and I'm focused on tomorrow night. I could sit here and say exactly the same as I did last week. It's obviously flattering to be considered for the national team as a proud Australian. But I have a contract with Sydney FC, I believe we're doing well but we need to do greater than we are at the moment,” he said.
"We could talk hypothetical things for half an hour and discuss things that aren't real. All I can do is what's real - I've got a training session to finalise preparation for Melbourne City at our Fortress Allianz, I expect a greater performance this week than we gave against the Wanderers.
"The players are in fantastic mental shape; we do a lot of work with the subconscious mind to get the messages through and the message for tomorrow night are very clear: a greater performance than last week.
"There's nothing been offered so I don't even think about that. The reality of everything is I'm contracted to Sydney FC. I love this club, I love that group of players.
"I treat those players like my kids and I wouldn't sit here and say something that's not real out of respect for those boys because those boys work hard for me every week, they perform at a high level every week.
"This is all getting in the way of us talking about what a fantastic team Sydney FC is.”
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