Sydney FC depth can cover for key losses

·2-min read

Coach Steve Corica insists Sydney FC have the depth to cope with Socceroos call-ups and a season-ending injury to striker Trent Buhagiar.

The Sky Blues third consecutive win and clean sheet, a 1-0 home victory on Sunday over local rival Western Sydney Wanderers, strengthened their grip on second spot, with three games to play.

But they could lose some players to the Socceroos squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers in Kuwait, with fullback Rhyan Grant, goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne and midfielder Luke Brattan among those likely to be considered.

Buhagiar, who had his entire first A-League season with Sydney in 2018/19 wiped out by an ACL injury, will likely be sidelined for three to six months after tearing an adductor last week.

"We have good depth in the squad, we obviously picked up an injury with Trent last week, but I think in the frontline we have good depth as well," Corica said.

"It just depends who goes (with the Socceroos).

"We have Banny Warland to step in in the backline we have Harry Van der Saag as well for Rhyan or (also Paulo) Retre or Callum Talbot, so we have good options."

"Obviously those players haven't played a lot of minutes which we're trying to get minutes into them leading into these final few weeks of the season and the finals."

Buhagiar's injury and the consequent surgery ends any hopes of the 23-year-old forward making the Olyroos squad for the Tokyo Games in addition to ending his A-League campaign.

"It is devastating for him and for us, he's a great guy," Corica said.

"Mentally he needs to stay strong now.

"He has a lot of support around him from the club and his family, so he'll get through this and come back stronger as well."

Sunday's result delivered a hammer blow to the eighth-placed Wanderers, who face the prospect of potentially having to win all three of their remaining games to make the finals..

They host seventh-placed Wellington on Wednesday in what looms as a must-win match for both clubs, with Wanderers' coach Carl Robinson saying his club had little room for error.

"We've got the next two games at home and we've got to take care of our home business and then we'll see if we can take it to the last game of the season," Robinson said.

"We wont give up, there's three games to play we know we can beat anyone on our day, but the likelihood is we have to win three games."

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