May 16, 2015 11:57:11 UK
Sydney FC’s defence is up to the task of shackling premiers Melbourne Victory in Sunday’s Grand Final, reckons utility Rhyan Grant.
They have already emerged with a record from this season, but the Sky Blues won’t be content with anything other than the championship trophy.
Sydney became the first club in the A-League’s 10-year history to go through an entire season without losing away from home.
The boys will be ready; I’d like to think we’d have the edge.
That’s a statistic that gives them confidence as they go to Melbourne to take on a Victory side who finished three points above them in the final table.
Grant, who is set to be on the bench for the decider, regards the club’s defensive record and the superb way they have been conditioned as significant factors in their favour.
The Sky Blues were ultra-tight throughout the campaign away from home – they conceded just 14 goals in as many games.
Grant says it will come down to who can hold out the opposition’s front four better, which is something the Sky Blues are backing themselves to do.
Victory are 2.25 to beat the Sky Blues, who are 3.10 with the draw 3.60.
Grant says strength and conditioning coach Andrew Clark has helped improve the team’s overall fitness so if the final goes the full 120 minutes and into penalties – as many are predicting based on all three meetings this season having been draws – then Sydney will feel they have an edge.
“I don’t think the players would want that to be running around for 120 minutes and then have to go into such a nerve-wracking (penalty shootout) time,” added Grant, who is 7.50 to score at any time in the Grand Final. “But the boys will be ready; I’d like to think we’d have the edge.
“Clarkie is a freak at what he does; we’ve got full trust in him to make sure we’re ready to go and if it does go to extra-time and penalties I know we’ll have the legs to go the whole way.”
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