FFA Cup: Graham Arnold has ominous message for Canberra Olympic

James Hall 
Published: October 16, 2016 - 4:26PM

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has delivered Canberra Olympic a blunt warning ahead of Wednesday night's blockbuster FFA Cup semi-final: "We can do a lot better."

The Sky Blues have set the A-League alight with back-to-back 4-0 wins over Western Sydney Wanderers and Central Coast Mariners in the first two rounds.

And Arnold said his troops had no intention of easing up at Viking Park on Wednesday night as one of the A-League's glamour clubs hunts its first piece of silverware since the 2009-10 season.

"Our form is pretty good but we can do a lot better than what we are," Arnold said.

Sydney had 17 shots at goal in their rout of the Mariners on Saturday — but Arnold expected more.

"I'm always hard to please," he said. "We demand high standards here at Sydney and I thought we were sloppy in patches during the game last night [against the Mariners] but we were ruthless in front of goal."

Olympic are yet to concede a goal in their dream run to the semi-final and Arnold said he wouldn't be resting any players who played against the Mariners, despite having to play three games in one week.

"We'll pay Canberra Olympic the highest respect and we'll be preparing for this game as we would any other game in the A-League," he said.

"We've got a job to do and our job is to come down and perform well and win the game. We expect to win the game, we're coming down to win the game, and anything else is unacceptable."

For the emerging players at Olympic, the semi-final represents another chance to push their A-League claims.

"It's a fantastic initiative," said Arnold.

"It's especially great for the National Premier League clubs around Australia to get the opportunity to experience big time football.

"And for us as A-League coaches to see how the NPL players are coming along, if there are any good youngsters out there and it's a great opportunity for the kids and the players.

"It would put the icing on the cake if one day the winner of the FFA Cup is rewarded with a place in the Asian Champions League or something similar to add more emphasis to it."

Canberra's presence in the A-League continues to be a pressing issue amid Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop's comments the league's expansion would happen "sooner rather than later".

Arnold said the semi-final was an ideal chance for the Canberra community to push its claims.

"It's a great opportunity for the Canberra people to get out, watch a game and vote with their feet with the FFA talking about expansion," he said.

"Canberra has always been a great breeding ground for some wonderful footballers and we're immensely looking forward to coming down for the game."


Article from :http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/soccer/ffa-cup-graham-arnold-has-ominous-message-for-canberra-olympic-20161016-gs3fas.html