Sport: Sydney FC talk up A-League final mentality - PressFrom - Australia

SportSydney FC talk up A-League final mentality

10:01  16 may  2019
10:01  16 may  2019 Source:

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Sydney FC talk up A-League final mentality © Sydney FC defender Alex Wilkinson
Alex Wilkinson believes Sydney FC's familiarity with the big time can counter all the elements that favour Perth Glory in the A-League grand final.

Sky Blues central defender Wilkinson has tipped his hat to Glory's achievement of dominating the regular season and booking home advantage for Sunday's decider.

However, the former Socceroo pointed out his team comprise more players hardened by the experience of major matches, which he said counts for plenty in a one-off occasion.

The 34-year-old is a prime example, having been part of Australia's 2014 World Cup campaign.

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He and others in Steve Corica's team have routinely challenged for A-League honours in recent times and been part of several Asian Champions League campaigns - something Perth will sample for the first time next season.

"We've got a lot of players who have been involved in big games that last couple of years. We've been in grand finals, we've been in a few FFA Cup finals, Champions League games," Wilkinson said.

"All that breeds experience and confidence in pressure cooker situations.

"Our boys will know exactly what to expect and hopefully that will be an advantage."

Wilkinson said a crowd forecast to challenge 60,000 at Optus Stadium held no fear, along with the travel factor.

Sydney FC boast an encouraging record in Perth, including a 2-1 win just before Christmas. That was followed by a 3-1 loss at the same NIB Stadium venue three weeks later.

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The only game in Sydney was won 1-0 by the Sky Blues over a weakened Glory last month.

"Perth's not been a hard place for us to go over the last few years, we've gone over there and got good results," Wilkinson said.

"We take confidence in the fact that we beat them over there... that flight holds nothing to be afraid of."

Wilkinson played down the significance of his team's 6-1 dissection of Melbourne Victory in last week's semi-final although he admitted the ruthless nature of the finishing had added a spring to the step of the team's attacking personnel.

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