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Sydney FC to err on the side of caution with Jack Rodwell despite importance of derby

Marco MonteverdeNCA NewsWire
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Marko Rudan will return from suspension for the derby. Supplied
Camera IconWestern Sydney Wanderers coach Marko Rudan will return from suspension for the derby. Supplied Credit: Supplied

Sky Blues coach Ufuk Talay is set to resist the urge to recall former Wanderers skipper Jack Rodwell in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Saturday night’s Sydney derby despite the former Everton and Manchester City star being available for selection.

Rodwell has been sidelined since injuring his calf in Sydney FC’s 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar on January 6.

Talay said on Friday that the 32-year-old defender was available for the clash against his old club at CommBank Stadium, but that the Sky Blues were likely to err on the side of caution.

“Jack has done modified training during the week and we’re looking forward with Jack and how we can use him and utilise him maybe not this weekend but the weekend after,” Talay said.

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But while the former England international won’t return, Wanderers coach Marko Rudan will be back after completing his suspension for breaching Football Australia’s national code of conduct and ethics, including questioning the integrity of referee Adam Kersey. last month.

Rudan was banned for three games, but the third match was a suspended sanction, allowing him to return to the coaching dugout for the derby.

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Marko Rudan will return from suspension for the derby. Supplied
Camera IconWestern Sydney Wanderers coach Marko Rudan will return from suspension for the derby. Supplied Credit: Supplied

“It’s a different game … it ain’t another game,” Rudan told KIIS’ Kyle and Jackie O Show.

“It’s a big game for us. It’s the one that all the boys earmark at the start of the season.”

Rudan, who won an A-League title as a player with Sydney FC, predicted a full house of 30,000 for the grudge match.

“We’re looking at a sellout for the first time in the history of the derby at CommBank (Stadium),” he said.

Talay said the Sky Blues were just as excited about the derby.

“These are the games that you want to be involved in as a player and a coach, and also for the supporters to be out there as they’re the ones that create the atmosphere for us,” the Sydney mentor said.

“What we want to do is entertain the fans as the derby is about a pride thing as well.

“When your team wins the derby it is a great week for all the supporters that come out there and back us.”

The Sky Blues will be without their skipper and key midfielder Luke Brattan, who has been suspended for one match for accumulating five yellow cards.

“`Bratts’ has been great for us but injuries and suspensions provide opportunities for other players to come in, and we have an idea about what to do and hopefully you’ll see that on Saturday,” Talay said.

“The first 15-20 minutes will be hectic, and once the game settles down it is very important that we do what we want to do with the ball, and play through the lines and be aggressive without the ball.”

Two other A-League clubs from NSW are also involved in a derby on Saturday, with Newcastle hosting Central Coast at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Originally published as Sydney FC to err on the side of caution with Jack Rodwell despite importance of derby

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