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Decide FFA Cup final venue earlier: Arnold

AAP logoAAP 27/10/2016 Emma Kemp

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has suggested the FFA Cup final venue be decided before the tournament begins to prevent conflict and disappointment for clubs and their fans.

Immediately after Melbourne City beat Melbourne Victory in Tuesday night's second semi-final, Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced next month's decider would be held at AAMI Park instead of Sydney's home ground Allianz Stadium.

FFA chief executive David Gallop cited scheduling and a desire to maximise attendance.

But the decision left Sky Blues chairman Scott Barlow furious, labelling the call a "slap in the face" given the club had not played a single home game.

"I agree with the chairman's statement," Arnold said.

"But the statement has come from the club and, as players and coaches, we've been dealt the cards and we'll get on with it."

Arnold thought the best solution might be to establish the venue before the competition even started.

"Maybe it takes a non-football person to make that decision," he said.

"I saw last night Tadhg Kennelly came up with a good idea that - before the tournament starts - the ground is already announced where the final will be no matter who plays in it. That might be good."

Before then, Sydney have five A-League games to focus on, starting with Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday when the Sky Blues attempt to build on their best start to a season.

Nine points and just as many goals from three games shape as a formidable proposition for the Jets, who haven't managed to score against Sydney in eight of their past nine meetings.

But the Hunter-based club are also undefeated under new coach Mark Jones, most recently closing a two-goal deficit to draw with Western Sydney.

While the absence of in-form winger Andrew Nabbout (groin) will leave Jones without a key attacking outlet, Arnold tipped Finnish striker Aleksandr Kokko to prove a menace on return from injury.

Captain Alex Brosque is an unlikely starter as he continues a cautious return following his first 90-minute run in last week's Cup semi-final win.

But Arnold said the 32-year-old was simply too talented to sit on the bench the whole season.

"Just at the moment, while we're building his fitness and making sure there's no slip-ups with what happened to his hamstring," he said.

"What I'm seeing is that after 60 minutes, when I bring Alex or Matty Simon on, the opposition struggle to contain them.

"Out of the nine goals we've scored so far, five of them have come in the last 20 minutes when our fitness kicks in and we bring on the impact players."

Bernie Ibini, who scored in his long-awaited return against Canberra Olympic, is under consideration although Arnold hinted he might prefer the winger to play a full match with the youth team or an in-house friendly first.

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