Defender Alex Wilkinson admits Sydney will require a near perfect record for the remainder of the season if they’re to become the first team to win three successive A-League premierships and second in Australian national club football history after Sydney City Hakoah.
«We’re still going to push hard for that. We’ll have to win the most of the remaining games. The result between the other teams could mean we’re only five or six points off top,» Wilkinson said. «By no means is it out of reach but we need to pick up points over the next nine games to get up there which we’re more than capable of. We can definitely go on a run.»
The Sky Blues took the lead against Brisbane through Danny De Silva in the 55th minute before Tobias Mikkelsen equalised for the Roar and youngster Dylan Wenzel-Halls scored an injury time winner. Both of Brisbane’s goals capitalised on loose marking from Sydney and carelessness in possession, a stark contrast to the manner in which the visitors started the match. Wilkinson was bemoaning his team’s haphazard display in the last 20 minutes of the game which cost his team the chance to remain hot on the heels of the league leaders.
«We got sloppy, started giving away possession too easily and they got a bit of confidence,» he said. «The first goal gave them a real boost and that was down to us taking our foot off the pedal and not being clinical enough when we needed.»
Despite their poor finish to the game, Wilkinson denies Sydney were complacent against a Brisbane side that was sitting second from bottom on the table at the start of the game.
«I don’t think you can call it complacency because we’re not that type of bunch. We know every team in the A-League can beat anyone on their day. It’s a fairly even competition and if you don’t turn up 100 per cent you’re going to be rolled over. We’re not that kind of group, we prepare the same every week no matter who we’re playing.»
The setback was a bitter blow for Sydney, however Wilkinson was encouraged by the performance of new signing Reza Ghoochannejhad. The Iran international showed signs of combining well with his team, lasting 75 minutes before being substituted for Alex Brosque.
«I thought he looked really sharp. He hasn’t played in a bit over a month now and he’s just had a week of training with the boys. His partnership with Alfie [striker Adam Le Fondre] is going to take a little bit of time,» Wilkinson said.