How Farina must be smiling now

FOOTBALL is a fickle game - just ask Sydney FC coach Frank Farina.

At the start of last month a fired-up Farina used his personal blog to have a crack at Sky Blues fans who were calling for his head on social media after Sydney lost three straight games.

How he must be smiling now with his side sitting in second place on the A-League ladder after notching a club-record fourth consecutive win with a comfortable 2-0 victory over the Newcastle Jets.

Farina celebrated a year in charge at Sydney this week, and he admitted himself it had been something of a rollercoaster ride over the past 12 months.

But he is finally reaping the rewards for the hard work he has put in at the club.

There is no doubt there have been some downs over the past year for Farina, but he has coped with flak before, particularly when he was sacked by the Brisbane Roar following his drink-driving charge.

But you don't become the Socceroos coach without some talent and Farina's coaching expertise is finally showing through.

Speaking before Saturday night's win, 49-year-old Farina looked back on the past year and said he had enjoyed the ride so far.

"Without doubt," he said.

"Being involved in football on a day-to-day basis with a big club, there's pressure there but that's why we do this.

"Even when I played you enjoy that grind and getting back involved. Even though it has its ups and downs, you've got to enjoy it or you won't survive."

Farina will surely allow himself a smile after the turnaround in the past four weeks but, as all good coaches do, he will still know there is plenty of work ahead if he is to deliver what the Sydney fans really want ... success.

One thing that would have pleased him is that for most of the form resurgence, the Sky Blues have not had to rely on star man Alessandro Del Piero.

Goals have come from other sources, and in the likes of Joel Chianese and Ranko Despotovic, Sydney appears to have players who can win games.

That could prove vital if the Sky Blues do lose Del Piero for a few games after limped out of Saturday night's game on 43 minutes after suffering what appeared to be a hamstring strain.

If Sydney can cope without its skipper then Farina will be able to keep on smiling as the Sky Blues will be battling it out for top spot.

One person who will not be smiling is John Aloisi, who once again lost Harry Kewell through injury ahead of yesterday's all-important clash with Adelaide United.

I just wonder what is next for Kewell, who has only played 68 minutes for Melbourne Heart this season after signing with a lot of fanfare before the campaign began.

A head injury and an ankle knock have kept the 35-year-old off the park in recent weeks, but I just wonder if there is more to it and the former Socceroo is not struggling with soft tissue injuries.

He is no good to the Heart sitting in the stands and if he can't get fit soon then maybe the club would be better off putting its marquee money to better use.


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