The reigning champions found themselves 2-0 down against Western Sydney Wanderers before they fought back in front of 34,810 fans at Allianz Stadium.

The Irish-Aussie joined Sydney after leaving hometown club Perth Glory in 2015 and said the supporters had an impact on their performances.

“There’s a legitimate connection, 100 per cent,” O’Neill told FourFourTwo.

“There was a moment where I won a corner, I looked at the fans and they looked at me and it’s like you have a genuine connection.

“It’s a ‘you’re with me and I’m with you’ type of thing and it’s a great feeling. They came out in numbers, they drove us to get the result tonight and the boys feed off that.

“Derbies are why you play football, it’s what I dreamt – walking out into packed stadiums to playing games like that. No matter how much you build it up in the media during the week, there’s nothing like walking out of the tunnel and onto the pitch.”

O’Neill also scoffed at suggestions there was a championship hangover and pointed out they were still undefeated so far.

Sydney are also into their second consecutive FFA Cup Final awaiting the winners of Tuesday’s clash between Wanderers and Adelaide United.

“You can definitely see from the second-half performance against Wanderers, there’s no hangover,” he said.

“We’re out this year to win every game we play in and we should’ve done that tonight.

“We all know we can do a lot better defensively, especially the two goals we conceded weren’t dealt with and they were sloppy.

“We’ll look at it this week, we have the players that know how to change that, we have really good defenders and if we weren’t playing good football I’d be a lot more worried.”

Sydney play O’Neill’s former club Glory next Friday at home.