Irate at being replaced at the break during the A-League leaders’ 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar, it was initially claimed by Fox Sports that the 34-year-old utility had got changed, packed his bag, and was headed off home in a huff, pursued out of the ground by Sky Blues football manager Terry McFlynn.
The former Socceroo subsequently returned to the dressing room, where he watched the remainder of the match and allowed his emotions to cool.
Carney trained with the rest of the squad on Monday in preparation for Saturday’s trip to Gosford to face Central Coast.
Sky Blues CEO Danny Townsend explained that Carney’s reaction was borne of frustration, and that had air had been cleared.
“He wasn’t happy at being subbed off as is always the case, and I can understand that,” he said.
“As a player you don’t want to be going off at halftime.
"But he heard (coach) Graham Arnold’s explanation that he was already on a yellow and treading a fine line with a couple of fouls, and the coach didn’t want to go down to ten men.
"David does tend to have a complex around perhaps being the whipping boy a bit at times and I think this might have been an example of that.
“I think he realizes he over-reacted a bit, and everything is fine. The story was really a bit of a beat up.
“It was in the heat of the moment and he’s acknowledged that in the fullness of time. It’s all good.”
Carney’s sense of injustice was heightened by the fact he’d been left out of the squad that travelled to Japan for the 1-1 AFC Champions League draw with Kashima Antlers, on the proviso he’d face the Roar.
Playing out of position at left-back, he’d been one of Sydney’s more effective players before being hooked as they trailed 2-0.
Carney’s agent Paddy Dominguez said it was never his intention to leave Moore Park prematurely - an action which would have placed him in breach of contract.
“He was actually going out to his car in the car park and at no time was David intending to go home as was reported,” said Dominguez.
“Of course, he was upset at being taken off, as you’d expect him to be,” said Dominguez.
“You don’t want a player who’s ever comfortable and happy at being substituted at half time.
“He just needed to blow off a bit of steam but at no point was his intent on getting in his car and driving home.
“David is an experienced and seasoned international player and he understands the consequences of leaving the stadium prematurely.
“It was inferred wrongly in the reporting of the incident that he wasn’t coming back. That was the assumption made and it was incorrect.”
Carney, who is off contract at the end of the season, has been one of the defending premiership-championship double winners’ most consistent players this season, featuring in all 23 A-League games to date.
“He’s a passionate guy and what happened over the weekend showed the depth of the passion he has for playing for Sydney FC,” added Dominguez.