Sydney FC star Luke Brattan has leapt to the defence of embattled Sky Blues coach Steve Corica, who is striving to save his job ahead of Thursday night’s “Big Blue” at AAMI Park.
A loss to cellar dwellers Melbourne Victory could prove disastrous for Corica, with his former Sydney teammate Dwight Yorke waiting in the wings following his weekend departure from Macarthur FC.
Under Corica, the Sky Blues failed to play finals football last season.
Things haven’t improved this campaign, with the Sydneysiders languishing in 10th spot on the ladder, having lost seven of their 13 matches.
However, Brattan is adamant Corica, who led Sydney to A-League titles in 2019 and 2020, remains the right man for the job, and that it is the “responsibility” of the players to rescue the Sky Blues’ season.
“I’ve been with ‘Bimbi’ (Corica) for four years now; he’s a great coach, and a great guy,” Brattan says.
“He’s brought so much success to this club … and I’m sure he’ll have plenty of success in the future.
“He cops the brunt of it, which is unfortunate for him, but it solely comes down to performing. We’re the ones who go out on the pitch and do the job.
“As players, we have to take full responsibility. We’re creating a lot of chances. He can’t score them for us.
“It’s on us as players to finish chances, and stop goals as well.”
The Victory is also in a rut, with the Tony Popovic-coached side three points adrift of Sydney at the bottom of the ladder.
“They’re in a tough position as well,” Brattan said.
“The points that are up for grabs are huge for both teams, so it’s going to be a great game.
“We’ll concentrate on ourselves and if we play the way we can, and finish our chances, and defend like we should, we’ll get the three points.”
The active supporter group areas will again be shut at AAMI Park as part of the restrictions placed on the Victory after the pitch invasion forced last month’s Melbourne derby to be abandoned.
However, members of the Victory’s active supporter group, Original Style Melbourne, intend to buy tickets and watch the game together from a different area of the ground.
“Every game at AAMI Park against Victory is a great atmosphere,” Brattan said.
Meanwhile, Brattan admitted he was “not a huge fan” of playing a match on Australia Day, as calls grow for sport in Australia not to be played on the January 26 public holiday out of respect for First Nations people.
“I think a few of the boys think the same way (as me), but … we don’t make up the rules, we get told what to do,” he said.
“It’s not ideal, but we’re got to get on with it, I guess.”