Smeltz adamant the goals will come for Sydney

The goals may not have flowed so far this season for Shane Smeltz, but the A-League's second-highest all-time scorer isn't suffering from dented confidence going into Sydney FC's match against Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium.

Smeltz

Smeltz insists the goals will come after a slow start to the A-League season



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Smeltz, who has one goal from the first seven rounds, said Sydney was still working on getting into a groove in attack and that when the chances start coming, he'll be slotting them away.

"I rate my form pretty good," Smeltz said. "I'm working extremely hard and the whole team is.

"At Sydney FC our defensive line starts from the front, with me and 'Brosquey' (Alex Brosque), and we're doing a very good job there. In terms of going the other way, in attack, we're all looking to improve.

"The big thing for me is, yeah, I'd love a couple more goals under my belt, but I think the chances aren't quite coming as much as I'd like at the moment and when they do come I'll be finishing them off. I've got no issues or worries about that.

Sydney are fourth on the table. They are only the equal-seventh highest scoring team, with eight goals, but are the equal-best defensive team, having conceded six.

Sydney began this season with a new front third. Marc Janko and Bernie Ibini departed the club, Smeltz became a regular starter after mostly coming off the bench last season and Flip Holosko also joined the Sky Blues.

Plus, the midfield line-up that is obviously so crucial in setting up attacks changed significantly as well, with Milos Ninkovic added to the starting side and another new signing, Andrew Hoole, coming off the bench.

"It does take time," Smeltz said. "Obviously you work on things in pre-season, but when you hit the season regular it's a different story.

"The games  are more intense, there's a lot more riding on them and it does take a good number of weeks to really gel as a team and get into the groove and start firing and I think we're doing that.

"If you see the way we're training,  we're improving on that daily and I think it's only a matter of time before that transfers fully to the pitch."

Wellington was Smeltz's first A-League club. He played seasons 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 at Phoenix and was very successful there.

Some of Smeltz's former teammates are still at Wellington and he said he felt for them with the club's future remaining uncertain while negotiations continued with FFA over a licence.

"Ben Sigmund, Andrew Durante, Glen Moss, Vince Lia and Manny Muscat were all there during my time at the club, so that's a good number of players who are still there now," Smeltz said.

"I feel for them in their situation. You don't always know what you're doing from year to year in football anyway, but to think that a club is potentially collapsing around you would obviously not be a great feeling, especially one where a lot of the boys have been there for that long.

"That's their home, so it must have been a terrible feeling when the doubts about the future first came out and I think they've done extremely well to play on despite that and still be doing well," Smeltz said.


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3 min read
Published 26 November 2015 at 3:27pm
By Greg Prichard