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Too early for A-League favourites: Arnold

NZN 17/10/2016 Emma Kemp

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says A-League championship predictions are futile at this early stage, but in the same breath warned his leaders are still only at 60 per cent capacity.

The Sky Blues have made their strongest start to a season yet, trouncing both Western Sydney and Central Coast 4-0 to sit top of the table after two rounds.

But Arnold won't buy into talk of favourites in a competition so tight and unpredictable that unfancied Newcastle are in third behind Tim Cahill's Melbourne City following their 4-0 upset of Brisbane.

"It's way too early," Arnold said.

"With the length of the off-season, always in my experiences in the A-League the first six or seven weeks there's crazy results.

"I don't think anyone would have picked the Brisbane v Newcastle result, and those types of things will happen for the first six, seven, eight weeks until the teams settle a bit.

"A lot of teams have had a lot of turnover of personnel and it takes time to get everything in order and players to get used to things.

"When the weather starts to heat up you'll see different results again."

Sydney have a busy week, with four-day turnarounds between last Saturday's win over the Mariners, Wednesday night's FFA Cup semi-final with Canberra Olympic and Sunday's trip to Wellington.

After that they're back on the road to face the Jets before hosting Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory.

Arnold was pleased with the ruthless manner in which his revitalised squad had started their campaign but said said there was much improvement to come.

This week he gave the group a reality check, warning that any complacency could result in a decline similar to last season's slip from second to seventh place.

"Given our potential I believe we can be number one, but potential is a big word," Arnold said.

"We're only 60 per cent of where we'll end up.

"It's up to the players to chase that extra 40 per cent, and it's up to me to drive it.

"Confidence is good, but we've achieved nothing - there's no trophies handed out after two games."

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