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Arnold pleads for bigger Sydney FC crowds

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/02/2017 Emma Kemp

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold admits it's a relief to escape Allianz Stadium's dreadful pitch for a fortnight but implored fans to show his A-League table-toppers the support their blistering form deserves when they return home.

A paltry crowd of 8380 - the lowest in five seasons - turned out for the hard-to-sell Thursday-night fixture to watch the Sky Blues run riot over Wellington in their 14th win and 19th undefeated outing.

That the 3-1 win featured spells of exquisite team play came in spite of a sub-standard surface torn up by the weekend's Sydney Sevens rugby tournament.

Rain this week would have further deteriorated its state, which was panned on social media as equal to what Brisbane endured at Suncorp Stadium after December's Coldplay concert.

Arnold conceded the conditions at Allianz were poor but wasn't keen to make excuses for what perhaps should have been a far heavier scoreline against the struggling Phoenix.

But he was looking forward to next weekend's third Sydney derby at ANZ Stadium, where Sydney thumped the Wanderers 4-0 in October.

"The field is what it is, but we know we've got two away games now against the Wanderers and Melbourne City," Arnold said.

"We've got a different challenge next week at ANZ.

"We like ANZ ... with the field the way it is here at the moment we look forward to playing there."

The next three weeks are big for the Sky Blues, who will put their unbeaten record on the line against the Wanderers and City before returning home to host second-placed Melbourne Victory.

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