The Sky Blues turned to Farina after being rejected by Jets coach Gary van Egmond, but have no doubts the former Roar boss can steady the ship
|By JOHN GRECO
He may not have been their first choice, but Frank Farina has the confidence of Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata.
Just days after Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond turned down the job, the Sky Blues installed Farina as their new coach on Wednesday until the end of the season.
The former Socceroos mentor, who has been coaching the Papua New Guinea national team, will arrive in Australia on Friday and will take charge of Sunday's clash with Melbourne Heart at Allianz Stadium.
Pignata conceded the search for a new coach took longer than expected but is adamant they have the right man to kick-start the club's salvage mission.
He said Farina's brief was to get the Sky Blues into the finals.
"The players are happy we've finally made a decision," Pignata told reporters.
"They know they have to perform on Sunday and focus on the result and win games.
"We've had a few tough results the last few weeks. We've lost four on the trot... but we're only four points from the top six.
"The aim is to get in the finals and once you're in the finals anything can happen. That's the primary step and has been since day one.
"Frank's coached at a high level; he's coached the national team for seven years and coached high-profile players.
"He handles the media and these were attributes that we liked in Frank. He's also someone who is determined to get results."
It is understood Farina was initially looking for a longer contract before agreeing to take the helm for the remainder of the season.
Asked if there was a chance Farina could hold onto the job long-term, Pignata said: "That will be determined on results and Frank knows that as well.
"If things improve and change he's in the driver's seat, isn't he?
"We haven't set some clear goals but if he gets in the top six it's a great result from where we are at the moment. That's the focus."
Farina, 48, last coached in the A-League in 2009, when he was sacked from the Brisbane Roar after a drink-driving charge.
"We all know what happened a few years ago and he's quite happy to come back and make amends," Pignata said.
"He was determined to get back and coach in the A-League. He saw this as an opportunity and he's looking forward to the challenge."
Interim coach Steve Corica will go back to working as an assistant, alongside former Socceroos goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac, with Pignata revealing there would be little change to the club's support staff.
"We're not going to make wholesale changes, [Farina] knows that," the Sydney CEO said.
"But we'll give him the opportunity to add if he needs to add. We don't want to hold him back."
Farina is Sydney's seventh coach in just eight seasons and takes the reins from Ian Crook, who quit just six games into the current campaign.
He faces a tough challenge resurrecting the Sky Blues season, with the side winning just two of their first eight matches ahead of the Heart, whom they have never beaten.