Corica looks for balance to get Sydney through fixture pile-up

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - AFC Champions League - Group H - Sydney FC v Shanghai SIPG - Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar - November 19, 2020 Sydney FC coach Steve Corica REUTERS/Ibraheem Al Omari

(Reuters) – Sydney FC coach Steve Corica said he will look to strike a balance between rotating his squad and maintaining momentum amid a congested fixture schedule as the five-times champions bid to keep their two-pronged trophy challenge on track.

Sydney were held 1-1 in the A-League by bottom side Brisbane Roar on Saturday as they played their second game of a hectic run that will see them feature another four times by Jan. 30.

The result leaves Sydney sixth in the 12-team division, five points behind leaders Melbourne Victory with both clubs having played seven times in a COVID-19 affected campaign.

“It’s important to freshen up,” Corica said of the packed fixture list.

“You want to keep a similar team, though, because when they’re on a roll it helps.

“They’re in good form, they’re winning games and it just builds momentum and cohesion. That’s what we’ve had for the last three or four games.”

Sydney went into Saturday’s match off the back of a win over Brisbane in the FFA Cup and next take on Central Coast Mariners in the semi-finals on Tuesday.

That will be followed by three A-League matches in eight days, including two during the next international window as the competition attempts to claw back time lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Corica said there was time to make up ground on the teams above them.

“We have to play a lot of the teams above us so it’s all about picking up three points when we do play them,” he said.

“That’s the quickest way of moving up the table and that’s probably why I was more disappointed tonight with the draw because it was vital for us to pick up three points.”

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