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Premiers' Plate belongs to Sydney: Brosque

NZN 4/03/2017 Emma Kemp

Captain Alex Brosque has declared what coach Graham Arnold won't: Sydney FC have effectively won the A-League Premiers' Plate.

It's not yet mathematically certain but neither is it premature, after the tearaway leaders romped to a record clean sweep over Melbourne Victory that Brosque says has left their interstate antagonists "out of ideas" should they meet in May's grand final.

Friday's 1-0 triumph at Allianz Stadium hoisted Sydney 11 points clear and turned Victory's ever-dwindling chase all but futile.

Thanks to the Sky Blues' preposterously superior goal difference, just four points stand between them and a piece of silverware that's been in the works for seven long years.

If they beat Central Coast next Friday and Victory fail to defeat Perth the following night, the trophy will be done and dusted by next weekend and Sydney can officially call themselves the earliest-ever regular-season winners.

For Arnold, that will still be marginally short of his pre-season target to trump Western Sydney's record of 57 points for a 10-team campaign.

But while yet more records still hover in the team's sights, it was relieving to unofficially seal the Premiers' Plate at the same venue Brosque lifted the club's only other in 2010 before winning that championship.

"To be fair I think we have," Brosque said.

"We need four points from five games.

"We don't want to get ahead of ourselves and Arnie probably won't like me saying it, but I think it's there.

"It was a goal, but Arnie set a target a while back to try and beat 57 points, so that's what we'll continue to push for.

"But it's good to effectively have the minor premiership up and now concentrate on getting the most points."

Brosque remembers well Sydney's 2014/15 grand-final loss to Victory, a 3-0 rout that followed two regular-season 3-3 draws and a stalemate.

This time he can sense the tables have turned, and though highly contentious decisions have hurt Kevin Muscat's outfit in two of their three losses this campaign, he believes Sydney will have the upper hand in any finals encounter.

"Psychologically it gives us an edge," said Brosque, who had chances to score but played a part in a superb team goal finished by Bobo on Friday.

"All three games have been at a point in the season where they could really gain some points on us and come close to us, and every time we've pushed away with good performances.

"There was a lot to play for, a lot was up for grabs and we handled it very well.

"They've thrown everything they can at us, which means they're out of ideas come finals time."

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