Sydney’s injury blues give coach food for thought

Posted on 27/04/2020 by

SYDNEY FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has several players racing against time to be fit for tomorrow’s top of the table clash against Gold Coast United.Sydney have enjoyed a charmed run this season, even holding a pre-season training session in which every squad player participated unrestricted for the first time in the club’s five-year history.But the run has ended and, with some players facing stern challenges to hold their positions, Sydney could have a distinctly different look for this clash.Terry McFlynn is out after straining his knee ligaments in the first half of last weekend’s 2-0 win over Wellington Phoenix, and in scoring the second goal of that match with a diving header, striker John Aloisi damaged his knee and has been unable to train this week.McFlynn’s natural replacement, Stuart Musialik, missed training on Wednesday with a virus suspected to be the same strain that kept goalkeeper Clint Bolton from training on Tuesday and has affected Adam Casey.Defender Mitchell Prentice, who has yet to appear this season, has a back injury.Lavicka is putting faith in Sydney’s considerable depth as they strive to maintain their unbeaten run. ”We don’t want to risk because we still have many games in front of us, so we prefer, if we have a chance, to use [other] players,” Lavicka said this week.”We still have a couple of days to decide. We need to decide before departing.”Replacing McFlynn in the heart of the Sky Blues midfield over the next few weeks will be toughest task facing Lavicka.”He will have four weeks out, maybe more,” Lavicka said. ”We are not happy but that’s football. Terry is a good midfielder, his work is very important for the team but that’s it, now we need to replace him.”’Stuey’ [Musialik] is ready, he is one of the options. Rhyan Grant, Steve Corica maybe – he could play a little bit deeper than usual.”Corica was dropped last week in favour of Mark Bridge, but Lavicka is adamant his skipper still has a role to play, although perhaps not over the 90 minutes.”Steve’s still a very valuable player for this team. Maybe some games he will start, maybe some games will he will start [on the bench],” he said.”Steve’s the captain of this team, a big person for the club and still a very important part. He’s a very clever and a very smart player. He can maybe only play a part of the game, but his value to the team’s success is very high.”After scoring three goals in his opening four matches, Aloisi will be given every chance to prove his fitness.”I have to say at this moment that Johnny’s injury is not serious,” Lavicka said.Fortunately for Sydney, Gold Coast will be without the league’s best player, Jason Culina, who is one of only two A-League players picked for the Socceroos’ friendly match against Korea tomorrow night in Seoul.
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