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In-demand Brillante to miss second straight Sydney FC game

“Joshy’s been great for the club, but I can’t put him out on the field if he’s not in the right frame of mind,” Corica said. “We’ll have to wait and see. It’s still ongoing at the moment.

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“We’ve been up front, we’ve told the truth and what’s going on so it’s better that people know. The situation hasn’t changed since yesterday.”

Corica said he could see from training that Brillante was not ready to play, describing it as a “mutual agreement” that he would stand down from his duties. “He wasn’t really focused on what we were doing. I took the decision to leave him out,” Corica said.

“It’s still ongoing at the moment. We don’t know what’s going to happen with Joshy, so we just have to wait and see what happens by the weekend.”

Corica believes the Sky Blues are well covered in midfield, with Paulo Retre having seamlessly slotted into Brillante’s usual position alongside Brandon O’Neill after an extended period on the sidelines.

Sydney were comprehensively outplayed by Kawasaki, the reigning J.League champions for the past two years, with Corica conceding his side’s failure to retain possession and slow ball movement in attack played right into their hands.

The team held a recovery session in Kawasaki on Thursday and will fly into Sydney overnight, with a bus to take them straight from the airport to their Macquarie University training base upon landing in the morning.

Striker Reza Ghoochannejhad is in line for a return to the starting side against City, having been benched against Kawasaki after struggling with a neck issue in the days leading up to the game.

“The pillows are not the best here, let’s put it that way,” Corica said. “They’re like bricks. He was much better match day, but I was always going to play one of either (Alex Brosque) or Reza in this game and then the other one probably in the next game coming up because you need to freshen up the squad a little bit.”

Corica said the travel factor would be no excuse for the Sky Blues this weekend, with Melbourne City having enjoyed a luxurious two-week break between games due to the A-League split round.

“We want to put on a good performance at home and pick up three points,” Corica said.

“We want to get closer to Perth. You never know what happens – we’ve just got to win our games coming up.”

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