As Sydney FC move nine points above their nearest challenger, striker Kosta Barbarouses believes that the squad harmony is the reason for the team’s success so far this season.
Barbarouses has been a key component since joining the side from cross-state rivals Melbourne Victory, and provided a late winner in their hard-fought victory with a man down following Rhyan Grant’s early dismissal.
After going down a man, Barbarouses said that energy provided by believing in each other as well as the management was a big factor in knuckling down to win against the odds.
“We respect the coaching staff and I think you need that if you want to put in an extra sprint and an extra tackle at the end there”, he told FTBL following the win.
“You don’t do that if you don’t believe in 100% what we’re doing here. We’ve got that and I think that’s what’s making us tough to beat at the moment.”
Speaking on the game, the forward stated that, even if with a man down, he felt that Sydney were in control for most of the match and after the changes at half-time they knew they could sneak a winner if they took their opportunities.
“I think we suffocated them for space in those areas and it was tough to break as well because we put in a lot of effort, but I think once we won it back we kept it for long periods of times which is really good for us and slowed it down a bit. We just needed one or two chances and we took one.”
Now, with such a huge lead in the ladder, complacency could become an issue for the current champions. Barbarouses says that it’s important that the team don’t get too ahead of themselves and take it one game at a time.
“We have a tough game next week, Adelaide’s been great. We played them round one and we weren’t at our best and they almost held us, so I think it’s going to be a tough game.
“We have to stay focused. You see in this league, you lose one or draw one and City or the other guys below them pick up a win or two and it’s a very open field again. So, we've just got to keep this lead now and stay focused.”