Sydney FC’s Alex Gersbach confident Sky Blues can ride winning streak to finals

Intense: Alex Gersbach at training. Photo: Brendan EspositoSydney FC left-back Alex Gersbach believes the Sky Blues are every chance of remaining in title contention if they can get on a winning run to kick-start the second half of their A-League season.
Shanghai night field

Graham Arnold’s side at least emerged from the Asian Cup break with a thumping 5-1 win over Central Coast, one that signalled the side was anything but a spent force despite their form and injury concerns.

As they head to Perth to face top-of-the-table Glory at NIB Stadium on Saturday night, Gersbach wants to see his teammates do everything in their power to put together a streak that would see them surge up the table.

“We’re looking to get on a winning run and we’re looking for a better performance than the first half of the season,” he said before training at Leichhardt Oval on Friday morning. “Hopefully we don’t hit another slump and we can make a charge for the finals and see what happens from there.

“I think the boys are all ready to go for the game against Perth. Training has been really intense this week. There’s been a few short, sharp sessions. We get to Perth [late Friday] and I think the boys will be ready to go on Saturday night.”

The Sky Blues camp is buoyant after the win in Gosford, but Gersbach is aware the Glory will be a much sterner test.

“Perth are the team to beat at the moment and you can see that – they’re top of the league,” he said. “We’ll be doing our best to take our game plan and see what we can do to get the three points.

“The mood in the change room is really good at the moment, especially after that win against the Mariners. But that doesn’t mean anything at the moment and we’ve got to take it one game at a time and Perth this weekend is going to be a tough test. If we can get the three points that would be really good for us.”

The 18-year-old has been in wonderful form this season, taking over as the permanent left-back after Ali Abbas injured his knee, and he has never looked back.

“I’m finding it really good at the moment and the boys have been really helpful as have all the staff,” he said. “I’m just looking to keep it going for the rest of the season.”

Central to that development has been the influence of Arnold, a figure so important in the careers of several young Australian players, including many who played at the Asian Cup.

“‘Arnie’ has been really good,” Gersbach said. “Without him, I don’t know what I’d do. He’s given me [advice], he’s shown faith in me and given me confidence to play the way I play and that’s all I can ask for, really. [I like] attacking, getting down the wing, getting a few crosses in. That’s what I like do when I’m playing at left-back.”

One player who is a chance to come back into the starting side is Terry Antonis, fresh from being part of the squad that claimed glory for Australia against South Korea. While Antonis didn’t see any game time during the tournament, he might be the first one to shout drinks when the players next head out on the town.

“The boys have been joking around a bit about his cash bonus,” Gersbach said. “But it’s really good to have him back. He’s a great member of our team and gives a lot to our team and hopefully can help us get a win this weekend as well.”

Although new signing Mickael Tavares may keep Antonis out of the side this weekend, Gersbach said Tavares and Jacques Faty had earned their spots.

“Those two boys have been really good coming into the team,” he said. “We saw against the Mariners they contributed really well and I think they’ll be looking to do the same this week.”

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