The Wanderers were clearly the better outfit in the city's second A-League derby, and Farina now knows the challenge that lies ahead of his side if it is to make finals
|By JOHN GRECO
Sydney FC coach Frank Farina says his side got what they deserved in their derby loss to Western Sydney and only some joy through the hectic festive period can salvage their season.
The Sky Blues tasted their first defeat since Farina's appointment, losing 2-0 to a dominant Wanderers outfit in front of more than 26,000 fans at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
The loss in the second-ever A-League Sydney derby was not the way Farina was hoping to head into a gruelling festive period of four games in just over two weeks.
Sydney face Newcastle [away] next weekend followed by matches against league leaders Central Coast [home], Adelaide [away] and Perth [away] in a tricky 15-day stretch.
And Farina knows how the Sky Blues come through that run of games will determine if they can make a run for the finals.
"For all teams it's a busy period," Farina said.
"If you can pick up points in that period it can stand you in good stead towards the end of the season.
"We've started from behind the pack and we haven't got a lot of time for mistakes.
"And tonight was a mistake."
Following their morale-boosting win on the road over Wellington last Sunday, a lot was expected of the Sky Blues in front of their home fans.
But the Wanderers started the match on the front foot, taking the lead midway through the first half via Youssouf Hersi's first A-League goal, and they never looked troubled.
"We were outplayed tonight on all fronts," an honest Farina said.
"They were more enthusiastic ... it's disappointing coming back off a good win last week and not being able to back it up.
"We've got work to do. I knew that when I came here.
"We've got to try and get that consistency ... we can get better."
Farina conceded his side were flat following last weekend's long trip to New Zealand and hinted he may scale training back this week to help freshen up his squad.
Star striker Alessandro Del Piero started on the bench and played the last 20 minutes on his return from a hamstring injury, but Farina is hopeful he will be fully fit for next week's clash with the Jets.
Farina's Western Sydney rival Tony Popovic, meanwhile, said his players had used the defeat in the city's inaugural A-League derby as motivation in the second edition.
"The players were definitely ready for it," Popovic said afterwards.
"They really wanted to improve on that last performance against them where we were overawed in the first half an hour.
"We matched them this time with intensity and when we had the chance to play we did. It shows how much we've improved as a club from round three to now. We're certainly on the right track."