Corica praises Ninkovic after ALM loss

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica has praised his former charge Milos Ninkovic on a game-defining performance for the Western Sydney Wanderers in their 1-0 Sydney derby victory.

Ninkovic played in three championship wins over seven years before making a highly publicised move from Sydney FC to bitter rivals the Wanderers in the off-season.

The switch came after a reported falling-out between Corica and Ninkovic, who claimed Sydney FC had told him he needed to become an Australian citizen if he wanted to remain at the club, so as not to be counted in their quota of five international signings.

Ironically, Ninkovic was officially approved to become an Australian on the day before he met his old side for the first time on Saturday.

The Serb was met with booing from the Sydney FC faithful whenever he touched the ball at Allianz Stadium but set Kusini Yengi up to seal the result.

After the game, Corica said neither Ninkovic's treatment by the home crowd nor the Serb's performance had surprised him.

"I think we expected that, it was never going to be anything different," the coach said.

"He played well, that's what he does. That's all I've got to say on that."

The Sky Blues have now lost their last two games and if Wellington and Macarthur both win on Sunday, will drop out of the top six for the World Cup break.

Corica said his side would use the four-week hiatus to regroup and integrate Adam Le Fondre and Jack Rodwell back into the set-up post-injury.

Striker Le Fondre has missed Sydney's last three games with a hamstring injury, while a groin complaint has kept Rodwell from lining up at all this season.

"They're definitely going to make a difference to the team," Corica said.

"Adam's obviously a great goalscorer and we probably needed him tonight in what was a tight game.

"He was close (to returning) but just not close enough.

"Rodwell at the back hasn't played this season but he's going to be a rock at the back if we can keep him fit."