WESTERN Sydney Wanderers midfielder Mitch Nichols says the team is close to ending its five-game winless streak and what better way to start than tonight's sell-out Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium.
As well as not winning in the past five A-League outings, the Western Sydney outfit also has not beaten the Sky Blues in their past three clashes.
Nichols says the team is not far away from hitting its straps and climbing higher on the ladder than its current position of seventh.
"We have been giving away silly goals and getting red cards for probably no reason,” the former Brisbane Roar star said.
"It is about being disciplined and staying in the game longer because our football has been good, but just at big moments we are letting ourselves down.”
Sydney FC is 22 points clear of its city rival and on top of the A-League ladder.
The Sky Blues will be without defenders Matt Jurman, who has left to play in South Korea, and Seb Ryall, who is out injured.
But coach Graham Arnold, whose team is unbeaten in 14 games from the start of the season, could not resist a dig at his derby opponent, suggesting that his goalkeeper, Danny Vukovic, would not need to make a save at Allianz Stadium tonight following the Sky Blues' 4-0 win in the previous derby clash.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic hit back, claiming his team was in good shape for the clash.
"We are very confident. We go into the game full of belief and I believe we will show that tomorrow night,” Popovic said yesterday.
Responding to Arnold's goading, Popovic added: "I hope he is right because if he (Vukovic) doesn't make a save that means he's pulling the ball out of the net.”
Nichols also took aim at the Sydney coach.
"Arnie likes to talk, we all know that,” he said.
"I think Vuka (Vukovic) was man of the match in the (previous) derby, if I remember right.
"It is about us creating and taking those chances when we get them.”