We'll ignore Postecoglou hype: Sydney FC

Ange Postecoglou's Yokohama F Marinos are in the same Asian Champions League group as Sydney FC.
Ange Postecoglou's Yokohama F Marinos are in the same Asian Champions League group as Sydney FC.

Playing Ange Postecoglou's Yokohama F Marinos will not be a concern for Sydney FC in pursuit of the Asian Champions League title, according to captain Alex Wilkinson.

The A-League leaders have drawn the J-League champions for the 2020 tournament, with Sydney FC to host the visitors at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in May in a much-anticipated homecoming for the former Socceroos coach.

Wilkinson said the hype surrounding his return should draw a crowd, but it won't put FC off their game.

"For us it won't be an issue at all, it's just another game at the end of the day. It doesn't matter who's coaching or who we're playing against," he said.

"Notoriously the last two games of the group everyone is still alive within those campaigns.

"The last two or three we've been involved in, the whole group has still been able to qualify with the second last game or the last game still to play.

"There's every chance that game will mean something and that just bodes well for getting a fantastic crowd and great support out there."

The 35-year-old said playing Yokohama is a huge coup for the game in Australia given Postecoglou's achievements in Japan in such a short time.

Wilkinson played five years in both South Korea and China before returning to the A-League in 2016 and understands the difficulty of a language barrier.

"Just to be able to get a simple point across can be hugely difficult let alone to change the whole way the team wants to play both with the ball and without the ball," he said.

"For him to do that is a huge achievement and great for Australian football coaches.

"I think it's going to give us the recognition we deserve. We have a lot of fantastic coaches here in Australia and it's just a matter of them getting a chance overseas and proving themselves."

Australian Associated Press