Del Piero asks Sydney FC fans and players to keep the faith

Speculation over the club's vacant coaching position continues to mount, but the Sky Blues' star man has urged focus ahead of Saturday's match with Melbourne Heart Indonesia   By JOHN GRECO

Alessandro Del Piero has pleaded with Sydney FC fans to stick behind the team as the club try to work their way through one of the toughest times in its history.

Sydney remain rooted to the bottom of the A-League ladder following four straight losses and are still searching for a new coach almost three weeks since Ian Crook's resignation.

There have been reports the club is close to confirming Frank Farina as their new boss until the end of the season, with Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond rejecting an approach.

Former Melbourne Victory boss Ernie Merrick is reportedly not a target for the Sky Blues, while the likes of Arie Haan, Avram Grant and Pierre Littbarski have also been linked.

But it appears the players' sole focus is on getting their campaign off the ground by beating Melbourne Heart on Sunday.

Using his personal website, Del Piero called on supporters to rally behind the club as they enter the most "significant" week of their season so far.

"The importance of our actions from today onwards is based on the far from easy period we are going through," he wrote.

"We have to show that we can manage it.

"Before coming to Sydney I played a few matches and have already lived through situations like this one, probably even worse, in the sense of pressure and the created atmosphere that may influence the team.

"Being in the locker room everyday, I know that we have enough will and determination to reverse the trend."

Just over 13,000 fans - their smallest home crowd of the year - turned up to watch Sydney's defeat to Adelaide on Friday.

While Del Piero said he is confident the team can turn things around, he stressed the need for fans to get behind the squad

"We need a sparkle, we need to believe, we shouldn't give up," he added.

"I'm absolutely sure that we can make it, this group is strong and we just need to work and try without any fear. The results will come for sure!

"I'm asking all supporters to give us a hand, we want to start winning again, as soon as possible!"

Sky Blues captain Terry McFlynn is the only player remaining at the club that has been there since the A-League's first season, and he said the team will bounce back like they have done during similar periods of crisis over the last seven years.

"It's a difficult time but we have to remain as positive as possible," McFlynn told reporters on Tuesday.

"The older players and me as captain have to set an example to the boys throughout this difficult time.

"We've talked about ways to get out of this, how to do things differently and do things collectively better and we're putting that in place.

"At end of the day if you look at the game on performance, we deserved something out of the game on weekend.

"If we're looking at games thinking we don't have any solutions then we'd be in trouble. We know what have to do better but we have to do it now."

Defender Pascal Bosschaart and striker Yairo Yau both sat out training on Tuesday but are expected to be available for Sunday's clash with Melbourne Heart.

Brett Emerton and Terry Antonis are both likely to be missing on Socceroos duty, with Jason Culina set to be handed a starting role after his successful comeback from a knee injury against Adelaide.

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