Arnold targets record points haul with Sydney

Ignoring talk that the Sky Blues will win the Premier's Plate, the veteran coach turned his attention to another goal

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold refused to discuss the premiership but wants his team to become the greatest in A-League history and win 57 points this term.

After defeating Melbourne Victory 2-1 on Australia Day at Etihad Stadium in an arm-wrestle of a clash, Sydney moved 11 points clear at the top of the A-League.

While it seems the Sky Blues are on track to lift the Premier's Plate, Arnold played down such talk and called on his team to focus on improving even further.

"We have 30 points to go," he said, adding he was not happy with his team's overall performance.

"And it's good to hear the boys say they felt they didn't play anywhere near their best. And to still come down here and win 2-1 is a great sign.

"But we have a lot to work on. For me, it's about getting better each week and we want to be peaking at the right time.

"I just said to the chairman [of Sydney FC], we're finding different ways to win. We found a way to win.

"I'm driving the players to be the best in A-League history. In a ten-team competition the most [points] returned has been 57 and we want to beat that. 

"So we don't talk about coming first or the Premier's Plate, it's all about getting more than 57 points." 

Sydney have 43 points with 10 games to go. 

With the pitch looking patchy after a lot of cricket in recent weeks, Arnold thought the game was affected.

"We're finding different ways to win. Tonight was a dogfight. We found a way to win," he said.

"It was pretty even, the dogfight. It was a hard pitch to play on.

"The pitch was quick, the ball bounced and grass was very short so it became a game of second balls.

"And we had to make sure we were up for the fight with Melbourne tonight. We matched the fight with them."

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Dutch defender Jordy Buijs made his A-League debut at centre-back and Arnold paid tribute to his performance.

"I think you saw 25 per cent of Jordy tonight. We worked hard this week at training to get Jordy used to playing in the team and the tactics next to [Alex] Wilkinson and [Aaron] Calver," the veteran coach said.