New Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has marked his first day in charge by implementing a tougher training regime.
Farina has taken the course of action in a bid to eradicate the Sky Blues’ habit of falling away late in games.
The A-League cellar dwellers have thrown away several points after conceding late goals and Farina believes fatigue is a major factor.
He has introduced twice daily training sessions and cancelled a rest day in favour of more training in a bid to improve fitness and fluency.
He has also shaken things up off the pitch, releasing director of football Gary Cole and young striker Dimitri Petratos and employing former Socceroos conditioner Anthony Crea.
“The tempo in the A-League is very high, from the first minute to the last minute,” Farina said after the first of two sessions on Tuesday.
“In the past we’ve let ourselves down in the latter stages of games…the last 10 to 15 minutes we tend to taper off and you get punished.
“When you get to this level you have to play at a high tempo and your levels of fitness have to be high.
“These sorts of sessions are where you’re going to get the heart rates up and the fitness will follow.
“It’s not punishment but normal working practice for me.
“Early on in the week you’ll do double sessions and towards the end of the week we taper off.”
The former Socceroos boss is also working overtime to recalibrate Sydney’s playing style,
“They’re not major changes but it’s important for me to stress how I would like them to play,” he said.
“They’ve got to get used to the way I want to play. The extra sessions are going to be about structure and what people’s roles are and their responsibilities on the park.
“They’ve got to understand that’s the style of football we want to play.”
Farina, who has until the end of the season to prove he’s worthy of a contract extension, will look to bolster his squad in the January transfer window.
A striker and defender are at the top of his shopping list.
He said: “I’d like to try and bring some players but whether or not we can do that and whether the players I’d like are available…there are a lot of questions and ifs.”
Farina will control Sydney’s fortunes for the first time against the in-form Phoenix in Wellington on Sunday.
The visitors may be without superstar Alessandro Del Piero, who is awaiting results of scans on a torn hamstring.