'Quality comes out in the end': How Corica's team-talk rallied Sydney FC
New Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica hailed the reaction his side showed after a tentative first-half left the Sky Blues needing to step up their game to reach a third straight FFA Cup Final.
Western Sydney Wanderers had Corica’s charges on the back foot for much of the first 45 minutes and Sydney FC relied on goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne’s reactions to ensure they went into the interval level at 0-0.
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Following a half-time pep talk from Corica, the FFA Cup 2017 Champions ran riot in the second-half, scoring four minutes after the restart through Trent Buhagiar, before Siem de Jong and Adam Le Fondre later ran up the score.
Corica admitted the intensity of a derby atmosphere left his team needing time to adjust, but he was delighted his players hung in and showed their ability after the break.
“The first half we knew, it’s a derby game, they were in our faces,” said Corica.
“They were putting us under a lot of pressure but the quality comes out in the end and that’s what I said to them – ‘You’ve got to be brave to play’, and we were in the second half.
“Once we did that, the game started to open up and we got our rewards.
“It was a great performance from our boys tonight, especially second half, and we’re very pleased.”
Each of the three goals were scored by Corica’s pre-season acquisitions and the Sky Blues chief believes there is no better way for the new boys to introduce themselves than by scoring against Wanderers.
“[de Jong] has fitted in really well,” Corica said. “It’s been a good pre-season for him and, it’s a derby, so it’s nice to get his first goal for the club and an assist as well.
“Trent Buhagair scored another goal that was fantastic for him. I’m just pleased for all the boys that worked very hard, did their job and we come away with the win.”
After being drawn as the away team against Adelaide United in the FFA Cup Final, Corica was unfazed about the prospect of a trip to South Australia for a chance to win his first managerial silverware.
“We’ve been on the road the whole time in the FFA Cup so it’s no different. With meeting Adelaide again, the same fixture as last year in the final, so we’re looking forward to it.”