Strike Force: Season defining day

The Sydney derby could prove to be a huge turning point in our season.

It goes without saying that you never need motivation for matches against your cross-town rivals, but our latest encounter against the Sky Blues is important for a number of reasons.

I've said before that we make no secret we are not happy about our position on the A-League ladder and that hasn’t changed heading into this Saturday’s rivalry match.

For whatever reason, we just haven’t be able to consistency needed to hold down a spot the top-six at the moment.

However, we are determined for that to change.

There is really no better time for us to make that happen than against Sydney FC at their own home ground.

Of course, we are under no illusion how difficult the task at hand will be.

Sydney FC have undoubtedly been the benchmark of the competition so far this season and are deserved ladder-leaders to start the New Year.

To go unbeaten through the opening 14 rounds is no mean feat and their recent record in matches against us also makes for pretty difficult reading.

If we can pop both of those cherries on the one occasion it will undoubtedly provide a massive confidence boost for us going forward.

That’s why a win could prove to be such a turning point in our campaign.

For us to achieve it will come down to our own hunger and desire because we know we’re coming up against a very well drilled Sydney side.

The way Sky Blues coach Graham Arnold sets up his team, it can prove fairly difficult to break down at times.

Finding a way to take advantage of some chinks in that armour and then taking our chances when they arrive will be a key factor in us finding derby day success.

It will also come down to how well we deal with their firing attack.

The Sydney derby could prove to be a huge turning point in our season - Brendon Santalab

Sydney are one of the competition’s best side’s going forward.

At the moment that attack is riding high on confidence and they play like a team who has it in spades.

For that reason, it’s no surprise to see the Sky Blues have knocked in a league best 34 goals this season.

With all that in mind it makes for a fairly imposing task for us this weekend.

But that doesn’t mean there isn’t parts of their game which can’t be exploited too.

Every team has weaknesses and we plan to target theirs in what should be another awesome Derby game.

One thing you can be sure of is the will be no shortage of passion or atmosphere when the whistle blows at Allianz Stadium.

Although I unfortunately won’t be playing,but the boys know they will have to be up for the struggle.

If we can show the same fighting qualities we did away in Melbourne last weekend it should hold us in good stead on the big occasion.

Last week against City we unfortunately had to battle for the best part of an hour without a man after defender Artiz Borda was sent off in the first half.

While we weren’t able to get the result in the 1-0 defeat, it was a tremendous testament to the boys character to be able to stay in the fight playing a man down.

That sort of character can win you football games and sooner or later that might just be the case for us.

Let’s hope it does when it matters most this weekend.

DERBY DAY: Fans come out in force when the Western Sydney Wanderers meet Sydney FC in any regular season matches in the A-League. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

DERBY DAY: Fans come out in force when the Western Sydney Wanderers meet Sydney FC in any regular season matches in the A-League. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Round 15

Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers

Saturday, 7.50pm

Allianz Stadium

Live: Fox Sports

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