Sydney defender Pascal Bosschaart says his side have been revelling in Frank Farina’s new hard-line approach to training.
Farina has completed his first week in charge of the Sky Blues, which has included twice-daily training sessions and the cancellation of a scheduled day off to work on fixing the side’s problems.
Sydney managed to snap a four-game losing streak with a 0-0 draw with the Melbourne Heart last weekend and Bosschaart is confident the team can build on that result against the in-form Phoenix.
The Dutchman said Farina has already instilled a new-found steel to the side and improved the way they approach their preparation for matches ahead of the clash against Wellington on Sunday.
“No disrespect to the previous coach but this is how you have to train – we have to train hard,” Bosschaart said on Friday.
“This is his (Farina’s) style and it is a great style.
“He (Farina) is a very, very hard coach … you see it right away, (there’s) double training sessions and no days off.
“We have been training hard and that is good for the boys.
“If we can get a good result in Wellington it will be massive.”
Much of Farina’s work this week has centred around fixing the club’s porous defence.
The Sky Blues have conceded 22 goals in their 10 games this campaign, which is easily the worst defensive record in the A-League.
But the former Socceroos boss saw enough in the team’s draw with Heart last Sunday – just the club’s third clean sheet in 27 games – to suggest better days were ahead.
“We conceded so many goals in the previous five weeks, to keep a clean sheet that does help with confidence,” Farina said.
“But now we have to maintain that.
“If we can continue to keep clean sheets (then results will come) because we will score.
“We want to try and get ourselves in a position where we can end the season really, really strongly.”
Asked about the progress in his first week in charge, Farina said: “It’s been decent … the intensity in training has been good.
“That’s all good but what happens on the weekend is what’s important.
“But if they take the same intensity they have shown in training this week into the game, I will be happy.
“We have to change things, and that will happen over time. Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of that. So we have to push as quickly as we can.”
Farina said youngster Blake Powell is likely to come into the starting side for Sunday’s clash with Italian star Alessandro Del Piero to remain in Sydney due to a hamstring injury.
The Sky Blues have lost their past five matches with the Phoenix and haven’t won in Wellington since January 2008.