The Sydney FC marquee said he almost missed Sunday's match with Perth Glory, but is adamant he is not in doubt for his side's forthcoming match with the Mariners
|By JOHN GRECO
Marquee man Alessandro Del Piero has shrugged off concerns over any lingering hamstring trouble despite admitting he was almost a late withdrawal from Sunday's win over Perth.
The Italian superstar was below his best but still got on the scoresheet - via a second-half penalty - as the Sky Blues came from behind to beat 10-man Glory 2-1 at ANZ Stadium.
Del Piero endured a difficult week of training in the lead-up to the Glory clash, with Sydney coach Ian Crook admitting they considered resting the 37-year-old for the game.
"I had a problem with [both] the hamstrings, especially the left, and it's been a hard week for me," Del Piero told reporters afterwards.
"I feel I worked hard but sometimes it wasn't good.
"But I'm really happy today because I play 90 minutes, score and win. This is more than the maximum we can do because it was a hard game for us."
Asked if he felt like he needed a rest, with a tricky clash away to the Central Coast next up, Del Piero said: "No, I don't think so.
"This problem came from Tuesday and Wednesday but I know what it is.
"I knew I could play today, not 100 percent, but for the next game I will be on top I hope."
While delighted with the side's second A-League win in succession, Del Piero knows Sydney have a lot to work on if they are to seriously challenge for honours this season.
The World Cup winner was seen in heated discussion with his Sky Blues team-mates after the match as he tried to get his message across.
"We talk a lot because we can improve and play better," Del Piero said.
"We are happy because we won, got three points which is important at the moment.
"But all of us have to do better than we are doing now."
After trailing 1-0 at the break to a Travis Dodd goal, it was left to Sky Blues marquee men Del Piero and Brett Emerton to get the home side out of trouble.
The former Juventus striker converted his penalty on 57 minutes before Emerton's clever chip over Danny Vukovic 13 minutes later proved to be the winner.
"That's why people like [Del Piero] and Emmo have gone where they have in the game, because they have a desire and an ability to be able to dig deep when things are going well," Crook said.
"Today both of them turned up trumps when we needed them."