Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold was beaming with pride having secured a second straight A-League premiership but he wants to keep setting records especially after being doubted over his Socceroos appointment.
With some doubting whether Arnold could still get the best out of Sydney FC despite knowing he will take over as Socceroos coach following the World Cup, that only stoked his fire.
That makes it extra special that the Sky Blues have made history as the first A-League team to secure successive Premiers’ Plates following a 3-2 win over Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Along the way, Bobo scored two goals to go to 24 on the season to set another A-League record while Sydney moved 11 points clear on top to be guaranteed of the premiership with two games remaining.
They are within sight too of the most goals in a season now having scored 60 to be just three behind Melbourne City’s record 63 in 2015-16.
Arnold is content particularly to have his team respond to any critics there were of him when he was appointed the next national boss.
A great run from Bobo saw him slide this one through Reddy to secure himself a Hyundai A-League record!
— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) March 29, 2018
“I love a challenge and when the doubters doubt, or the knockers knock, I come out fighting,” Arnold said.
“That’s in my DNA. I’ll be honest, I have not worked harder than I have ever since that announcement. People will say it was a distraction, it wasn’t a distraction.
“I was honest all along with the players and at the end of the day, people can say what they want. It’s more about what people believe and my boys believe in what I told them and we are group of honesty and trust.
“That’s our 52nd game and we’ve lost four the last two years. We’ve racked up 124 points. Our goal difference is 81 over two years. People want to say we’re struggling, I’ll leave that to them.”
More trophies up for grabs
Sydney will now play Suwon Samsung Bluewings in the Asian Champions League on Tuesday before finishing the A-League season against Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory.
While there are still things to achieve and a championship to be won, there’ll be no complacency.
“We are extremely proud of being the first team to go back to back with the premiership in 25 years,” Arnold said.
“We readjust our goals and when we were on 55 goals, I brought that one out that Melbourne City got 63 goals so let’s go for that. If you go for that and score eight or nine goals, then you are probably win these last three games.
“We still have that to strive for. We are the first team to get more than 60 points two years in a row and we have the greatest attack and defence in the league, which is the most important thing.”