Sydney FC bouncing back from gastro bug - Alex Brosque
A-League ladder leaders Sydney FC are confident they've overcome a gastro outbreak blamed for recent pedestrian performances.
Since blitzing the competition in the first half of the season, the defending champions have dropped six points in four matches this month.
Captain Alex Brosque, one of seven players said to have been struck down by the bug, expects the team to be back to their best when they visit arch-rivals Melbourne Victory on Friday.
"Everyone is healthy, everyone is fit this week so it will be a different performance," he told reporters on Wednesday.
Graham Arnold revealed after Saturday's lacklustre 1-1 draw to lowly-placed Central Coast that Brosque, Brandon O'Neill, Milos Ninkovic and defender Luke Wilkshire were affected by the bug.
Defenders Michael Zullo and Jordy Buijs and midfielder Joshua Brillante had also been ill earlier in the week.
"[It] really affected some players and filtered through the whole squad," Brosque said.
"[The Mariners match] was just a day we had to push through somehow.
"If you'd seen the boys after the game, there was definitely not much energy left in the rooms."
Brosque said the Australia Day blockbuster against the fourth-placed Victory would be a defining moment in the season and was a chance to make a statement.
"They don't need much to fire themselves up for this game, and neither do we," he said.
"We're excited to putting a couple of draws behind us and get back to winning ways."
The Victory, who lost last season's Grand Final on penalties, haven't lowered the Sky Blue colours since January 2016.