Kevin Muscat has dismissed speculation over Frank Farina's future as a factor ahead of the 'Big Blue' clash between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
Farina is believed to be under pressure to keep his job after overseeing three consecutive defeats at the helm of the Sky Blues.
But Muscat does not expect to find Sydney or their coach distracted by the rumours and uncertainty when the two heavyweight clubs clash at Allianz Stadium this weekend.
"Knowing Frank as well as I do, it'll be water of a duck's back," he said.
"He's certainly been in these situations before. If you're going to pick up papers and read all that and take it into consideration, you'll end up taking an eye off what you're meant to be doing.
"I've no doubt they will have prepared well for this game."
Sydney went down 1-0 away to Perth Glory on Sunday, the victims of a glaring error by the match officials and their own lack of polish in front of goal.
But Muscat believes there were promising signs from Farina's team, who will be able to call on fit-again Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero from kick-off against the Victory.
"Internally I think they'll be very pleased about the way they played last week," he said.
"I've analysed them and had a good look at them. Last week they were good. The scoreboard tells you they lost 1-0 and a lot of things get written during the week but they played well. (They have) a lot of pace up front and Del Piero's now fit, so it's going to be a big challenge for us.
"They've got a number of threats. Give Del Piero time in the attacking third, he's got a lot of quality and can hurt you. And there's a lot of pace around him. So we're going to have to be good on the weekend.
"They seem to lift when he does play."