Sydney FC coach reveals special target for strikers
FOOTBALL: Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says there will be no partying if his team secures the Premier's Plate this weekend.
The Sky Blues can officially take the A-League minor premiership if they defeat the Central Coast Mariners tonight and second-placed Melbourne Victory fails to beat the Perth Glory tomorrow.
With Sydney FC 11 points clear on top of the ladder, it only seems like a matter of time before it becomes reality but even when the plate is secured Arnold said the celebrations would not start.
"Not a chance," he said. "That's what the other teams want, they want us to celebrate and take our foot off the pedal.
"That's not going to happen.
"It's about driving this team to be better and better, and we know we've still got a lot left in us.
"Last week (against the Victory) it was a good performance, but the improvement side of it is we had 18 shots to five and we should have converted more.
"Until we get that ruthless streak of finishing off our chances we're letting the opposition stay in the game."
Arnold has named an unchanged starting XI for tonight's game at Allianz Stadium.
He also gave his four attacking players a target to achieve before the end of the regular season.
"Ten goals or above, so double figures for (Alex) Brosque (nine), (Milos) Ninkovic (eight), (Filip) Holosko (six) and Bobo (11)," he said.
"They've got another five games and three of them still need to get to that.
"So they've got individual goals as well as team goals - the team goal is about creating history."
Central Coast is the only team to have scored twice against Sydney FC this season - a 3-2 win for the Sky Blues on January 8.
Arnold's team has not conceded a goal after the break since then and has 12 clean sheets - twice as many as next-best Victory and the Wellington Phoenix.
Sydney FC has not lost in eight games against the Mariners, winning seven and drawing one.
The Mariners, however, are undefeated in their past four away games against New South Wales opponents.