Sydney’s head coach Ufuk Talay’s message to fans: ‘Don’t write us off yet’

posted in: A-League (Men), News

Sydney head coach Ufuk Talay says his team will box on in their efforts to reach the A-League grand final, despite the slew of suspensions and injuries after their 2-1 loss to title favourites Central Coast Mariners.

His side will “never make excuses”, Talay said after his side lost only their second-ever finals game in 18 home game played in their history.

“We’ve been through this this year with injuries and suspensions, and we’ll go again,” he told the post-match media briefing.

Any hopes of a home grand final for the Wellington Phoenix depend on Sydney beating the Mariners in their semi-finals.

WATCH: Highlights from Mariners’ semi-final win against nine-man Sydney >>>>

During Friday night’s loss, Sydney’s problems mounted with the red cards — and consequent match suspensions — for Jack Rodwell and Corey Hollman, and the injury to Jake Girdwood-Reich that forced him off after only 19 minutes.

“We still have players available and for us; we never make excuses. We’ll find solutions of what the best way is to win the game,” Talay said.

He said Girdwood-Reich (19) had a corked thigh and might be available for the second leg of the semi-final, to be played at Mariners’ Gosford home.

Of the game’s big incidents, Talay was philosophical.

On the penalty that provided the Mariners’ winning goal: “That’s the referee’s call at the end of the day. He sees it the way he sees it, and he gave the pen, so it’s a pen.”

Of Rodwell’s sending off for a dangerous tackle: “If his feet come off the ground and there is contact, then the rules say it’s a red card.”

Mark Jackson fist-pumps after his side takes the lead against Sydney.

Mariners head coach Mark Jackson said the two-legged tie wasn’t over yet, as he expected Sydney to bring their best game to Gosford.

“Listen, they’re a good team and they’ve beaten a lot of teams this year as well, they’ve got a great way of playing, they’ve got a good manager, good coaching staff, they’re well drilled so we knew we were going to come up against it.

“You know what people say: beware of the wounded animal. We’ve got to be prepared for what they’re going to bring. We’ll do our homework, we’ll prepare the players physically and we’ll be ready. But we expect a tough, tough battle.”

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