Forget the streak and focus on big picture, Murdocca tells Sydney

Former Brisbane Roar star Massimo Murdocca knows what it's like to be brought down from the high of a long unbeaten streak and he says there is only one way Sydney FC can get over ending theirs.

Alex Brosque

Sydney FC have their sights set on taking home the A-League Premiers Plate. Source: Getty Images

Sydney's unbeaten run this season ended at 19 games when they lost 1-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers last Saturday.

Murdocca was a midfielder in the Roar side that established a record 36-game unbeaten streak that overlapped the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

"The key for them is to decide what the big picture is and for Sydney it's to go on and win the league and then the championship," Murdocca told The World Game.

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"If they look at it and say 'oh, wow, we failed, we didn't go the whole season unbeaten', that would be a massive mistake for them, but it's possible to fall into that trap so let's hope they've got enough experience in that group to re-focus.

"They have to quickly come to the realisation that they didn't start the season with a plan to go through unbeaten, the streak just happened.

"They were aiming to win trophies and that hasn't changed. That's still the big picture."

The Roar won the 2010-11 Premier's Plate and championship double during their remarkable run.

But when their streak ended with a 2-0 loss to Sydney FC in round nine of the 2011-12 season it began a run of five straight losses, before Roar steadied the ship and went on to defend their championship title.

Murdocca says the way the Sky Blues react this week will be very telling.

"It was a unique situation going on a 36-game winning streak and when it finally ended it was like a relief," he admitted.

"It felt like 'OK, what now?' The big thing for us was that we'd won the double the year before and we were still on that unbeaten run, so it felt like all we were playing for that year was to keep that run going.

"We went on a five-game losing streak and suddenly the pressure built and I guess it could have gone either way for us, but we managed to re-focus and go on and win the championship again.

"That's the key for Sydney now, to regroup and remember what is still available for them this season. It's going to be interesting to see how they bounce back this week."

Sydney are away to Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Friday (LIVE and FREE on SBS VICELAND).

Murdocca said the fact Sydney didn't win any trophies last season should make it easier for them to put the ending of the streak behind them and go hard for the Premier's Plate and championship.

"You've just got to hope the Sydney boys weren't thinking of that streak too much, you just hope that's not all they were playing for," he said.

"They are still the best side going around at the moment, so if they keep looking at the key things they have to do they should be OK.

"Even if they had remained unbeaten right to the end of the season their biggest achievements would still have been to win the Premier's Plate and the championship, so they just have to aim at those.

"They've got bigger fish to fry, they've got to win the grand final."


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3 min read
Published 23 February 2017 at 5:56pm
By Greg Prichard