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Rivals in awe of Sydney FC: Arnold

AAP logoAAP 3/11/2016 Matt Encarnacion

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold claims some A-League sides are "in awe" of his team but says Saturday's opposition Melbourne Victory aren't one of them.

The Sky Blues will host fierce rivals Victory full of confidence after catapulting themselves to the top of the A-League ladder with four wins from as many games.

It's a club record start that Arnold believes has struck fear in opposing outfits.

"I'm definitely seeing 1-2 teams so far have been in awe of us," Arnold said on Thursday.

"Newcastle played a back five last week which showed us straightaway that there's a great amount of respect for us and they were in fear of us.

"I think that's the type of aura we're getting at the moment. The players are walking with a swagger. They're very confident and we're very confident in what they're doing."

However the third-year Sydney FC manager shied away from inciting Victory coach Kevin Muscat and instead praised their form so far this season.

Third-placed Victory have strung together back-to-back wins since being embarrassed by neighbourhood rivals Melbourne City, including a 6-1 pummelling of Wellington Phoenix on Monday night.

Asked if he thought Victory would fear his team, Arnold said: "No, I don't think Melbourne will. Kevin Muscat has been doing and has done a fantastic job at Melbourne.

"I know they're going to come up and be full of aggression, full of passion. They've got some very good players, but so have we. We have to match that aggression."

And if he thought Victory had any weak points for him to target, Arnold refused to divulge any.

"It's about the performance on the day. Kevin is a fantastic coach and motivates his team very well and gets them ready. For us it's about being better than them," he said.

With a full squad at his disposal, Arnold added attackers Bernie Ibini and George Blackwood to an extended squad on Thursday.

However the only change he is likely to make is the re-insertion of veteran David Carney on the left flank and return of captain Alex Brosque to the bench.

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