Sydney's Jurman pumped up to keep big-spending Guangzhou at bay

Sydney FC defender Matt Jurman said that despite injuries eating into the squad the Sky Blues were thinking positively going into the game against Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande at Allianz Stadium.


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Captain Alex Brosque and fellow attacker Matt Simon are out of the squad for the Group H with the visitors clear favourites to win on the road.

However, Jurman said Sydney were ready to rumble and that whoever came in for the injured players would be treating it as a golden opportunity rather than being edgy about what might happen.


Other players will get opportunities in Saturday's A-League clash with Melbourne City at AAMI Park, as well, because Sydney will be missing suspended quartet Jacques Faty, Seb Ryall, Rhyan Grant and David Carney.

"It's been a bit of a tough week for us, but we're confident, we're always confident in our squad," Jurman said.

"If we play well and take our chances against Guangzhou there's no reason why we can't get a good result.

"Yeah, we've had a bit of bad luck recently but you've got to look at the positives and the positives are that we've got a lot of good young players who can step up and it's going to be a great opportunity for some of them when they get it in the next couple of games.

"I'm not sure which players will get a run but I believe they will rise to the occasion because I know the quality we've got in this squad. I've got no worries about that.

"Two big games, two big opportunities for us.

"It's a massive week for us and everyone should be excited and pumped to be playing in these games.

"It's only the second game in the ACL, but it's a big game for us, being at home. You need to try to get as many points as you can at home.

"We're playing against the biggest team in Asia, so if you're not pumped for this you're probably never going to be pumped."

Teenaged striker George Blackwood was an unused substitute when Sydney lost their ACL opener 2-0 on the road against Urawa Red Diamonds last week.

It remains to be seen whether Arnold takes a chance on Blackwood against Guangzhou but Jurman said every young player in the squad would be desperate to get a run.

"It's a great opportunity for a couple of players to come in," Jurman said.

"Maybe George will play, I'm not sure, but it's a massive opportunity and the boys are chomping at the bit to get a start or come off the bench and try to help the team.

"The confidence every player here has in himself and in the team hasn't changed. We know we'll get some good chances against Guangzhou, we just need to finish them off.

"That (missed chances) has been killing us this year, but hopefully we'll take them this time and get the three points.

"Then we go to Melbourne for another massive game. We'll have a lot of players out there, but it will be a great opportunity for other players to step up and show 'Arnie' what they can do and that they deserve to be in the team."

Asked what the essence of the approach had to be against Guangzhou, Jurman said it was about the Sydney players doing their jobs and not worrying about the reputations of the opposing players.

"We need to be on our toes and make sure we defend well, give them no space up front, and when we get the chance to score we have to make it count because you don't get too many chances in these games," he said.

"We had some good chances against Urawa, but we didn't take them and little mistakes stopped us from getting anything out of that game.

"Playing against these players, you need to step up and you can't really think about what they're worth and all the crazy money that they're on. You think about doing your job for the team and if you can keep these players quiet then you can be happy with the job you've done on the night."

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4 min read
Published 2 March 2016 at 12:06pm
By Greg Prichard
Source: SBS