Wellington Phoenix captain Andrew Durante is unsure how the Frank Farina factor will rub off on opponents Sydney FC.
Sunday’s game at Westpac Stadium will be the first one Farina has been in charge for and he is already making his presence felt by imposing two tough training sessions a day on his team and cancelling their day off in the run-up to the match.
“I just don’t know how they will react to that,” Durante said. “I know if it happened to us we’d probably be pretty upset about it all.
“It can work one way and they can be tired and feel pretty peed off about it or they can come out firing and say ‘listen the coach wants more out of us and I’ll come and out give it to him’.
“We’ll see what Sydney team shows up (on Sunday). We can’t really predict that.”
Farina has made no secret of the fact he believes a lack of fitness has contributed to Sydney languishing at the bottom of the A-League table with just two wins in nine games.
The brutal new training regime comes as no surprise to Durante.
“I know Frank’s teams are all about working hard and that already shows he’s about hard work,” the Phoenix captain said.
“They’ve got a lot to prove. They are Sydney FC and they are sitting at the bottom of the table and that doesn’t sit well with them.”
The Sky Blues looked off the pace right from the opening round when they lost 2-0 at Wellington.
Things have not improved much since and they will cross the Tasman this weekend without star import Alessandro Del Piero (hamstring) and Terry Antonis and Brett Emerton, who are on international duty.
But Durante is expecting Sunday’s game to be far tougher for his side than the previous encounter.
“They’ve got most of their senior boys back. They’ve got (Adam) Griffiths and (Pascal) Bosschaart back at centre-back so they are going to be difficult,” Durante said.
“All teams when they get a new coach it always seems to lift them. They’ve got a lot to prove in front of their new coach. I’m expecting a tough one. I think they will be a lot more prepared this time.
“But we’re at home and we’ve got to make sure we take the game to them like we did in the first game.”