Sydney FC coach Frank Farina joked that he could have played well for Adelaide United in their 3-0 hammering of his team on Monday.
The former Socceroo player and coach made the boast with tongue firmly in cheek after watching Sydney’s comprehensive defeat at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The visitors were fortunate not have lost by an even greater margin, with four Adelaide attempts hitting the woodwork.
“I think I could have played out there with a red shirt on,” 48-year-old Farina said.
“We fell into that hole initially and then they got the penalty.
“It was a battle from then on.
“The third one (goal) was just a bad mistake from us and it became virtually a training run for them.”
Facing probable finals contenders in their own backyard, desperate to arrest a two-game slide, was never going to be an easy task for Farina’s youthful side, comprising almost half a dozen teenagers and missing several senior players.
Italian veteran Alessandro Del Piero headlined the list of sidelined Sky Blues, including Jason Culina, Paul Reid, Ivan Necevski, Fabio, Pascal Bosschaart and Krunoslav Lovrek.
“To be brutally honest, we were outplayed,” Farina said.
“We were ‘out-experienced’.
“We only had Brett (Emerton) and (captain) Terry (McFlynn) on the park who you would call experienced players.
“When the 16-year-olds start to be your better players, it shows we’re lacking players at the moment and lacking experience.
“As we know in football, when a team gets a goal, their intensity and adrenalin rises and yours goes a bit flat.
“When you’ve got a lot of young players, it’s hard for them to rally and get going.
“It’s giving young players an opportunity but at the same time a lesson in the brutality of football and how it can be, because we could have lost by seven or eight.”