Luke Wilkshire 'still got it' as new star of Sydney FC - Graham Arnold
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold hailed the impact that Luke Wilkshire has made on the defending A-League champions after the former Socceroo scored the goal to hand Melbourne City their first defeat of the season.
The Sky Blues' 1-0 win over the league leaders at AAMI Park on Friday night was more proof -- if it were needed -- that the A-League powerhouses are in command of the competition.
Wilkshire, 36, was an off-season signing by Arnold that caught many off guard, but his goal puts Sydney FC at the top of the table after five rounds.
The former Socceroo had just one start in a year prior to joining the Sky Blues but has hit the ground running under Arnold.
"If you look at the first five games he's had two assists, won a penalty for us and now he's scored a goal," Arnold said. "He's still got it."
After their record-breaking campaign last year, Sydney were favourites for the league this season.
But Arnold believes the club deserves more credit for reinventing their list after the departures of key players like Danny Vukovic, Filip Holosko and Bernie Ibini.
"People don't mention the fact we've lost three starting members and brought in new players," he said.
"Lukey Wilkshire has fit in perfect. Andrew Redmayne is doing exceptionally well in goals.
"We've had a changeover, but the boys are just so hungry and committed to each other, their mateship is to fight for each other."
With three games in New South Wales and the FFA Cup final over the next month, Arnold said the club stood ready to kick on.
"We've got Adrian [Mierzejewski, Polish midfielder] to come back, we've got Charlie Lokolingoy to come back.
"We've got everyone fit and ready and you can see how fit all our boys are. We've got a lot of depth.
"We've got a strong squad and we're ready for any challenge ... and an exciting month ahead."