Sydney FC coach Steve Corica doesn’t expect striker Bobo to make his A-League return until next month but has backed Kosta Barbarouses and Trent Buhagiar to step up in the Brazilian’s absence.
Buhagiar hit the woodwork in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers and went close on a couple of other occasions, but hasn’t hit the scoresheet in Sydney’s first two A-league games, following a productive Asian Champions League campaign.
New Zealand international Barbarouses ended a 15-game stretch without a goal that stretched back to last March, when he confidently slotted home an equalising penalty.
“If he (Barbarouses) just brings goals to his performances, I think he’s doing a good job……he held the ball up, he worked hard defensively,” Corica said.
“I think that goal will do him the world of good, because confident strikers want to score and he stepped up to take the pen and it was a good pen.”
Bobo was recently recruited to fill the vacancy caused by the departure of Englishman Adam Le Fondre.
The 36-year-old striker, who scored over 50 goals in two bountiful seasons for Sydney, last played three months ago in Brazil’s Serie B.
Asked if Bobo would be in contention for next Friday’s clash with Central Coast. Corica said: “I doubt it.
“He will take a little bit of time to get going, but when he’s ready we’ll throw him in.
“We knew where he was, so we expected he probably won’t play until February.
“We’ve got some good young boys as well to come on and do a good job and for me Kosta and Trent are doing a good job.”
He anticipated emerging midfielder Calem Nieuwenhof would be available for Friday’s game after missing the Wanderers match because he rolled an ankle at training.
The Wanderers play the Mariners on Tuesday, with coach Carl Robinson foreshadowing some changes due to the quick turnaround.
“We’re carrying a few knocks and bruises as you’d expect in a derby game,” Robinson said.
“The players who haven’t played today or been involved as much, will get the chance to play, it will give more young lads an opportunity to play.”
He said Saturday’s game against the defending two-time champions was a good early-season marker for his team.
“We’re changing things in that locker room, with personnel changes as well as the playing style, but that was a good test for us,” Robinson said.
He wants his players to show more self-belief, but was pleased with the energy of young wing backs Tate Russell and Thomas Aquilina.