Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque has reassured teammate Josh Brillante he's not letting the A-League club down over talk of an imminent move to South Korean outfit Pohang Steelers.
Brillante was left out of last Wednesday's AFC Champions League game away to Japan's Kawasaki Frontale and Sunday's home A-League clash with Melbourne City because the club felt he wasn't in the right frame of mind.
"I spoke to Joshy a little bit once we got into Japan and it all came about and it's difficult on everyone and more than anyone on Joshy," Brosque said on Friday, shortly after the team returned from Japan.
"He'd love nothing more than to be playing and to be on the pitch with the boys he's spent the last few years playing with, so in a way he feels like he's letting the boys down a little bit but I've assured him that's not the case.
"This is is football; these things happen and when a player like him is doing well you're going to attract that sort of attention.
"I think it's a positive for him but as a club players have to get used to these sorts of things and the boys haven't let it worry them in any way."
Brosque isn't overly concerned about Sydney going goalless in their last two games in the Champions League, pointing out they scored in each of their 21 A-League fixtures.
He got a rare start in Japan but may drop back to the bench on Sunday, with Iranian striker Reza Ghoochannejhad likely to be restored.
The game starts less than 24 hours after the finish of an NRL match at Leichhardt Oval between Wests Tigers and Manly.
Brosque isn't unduly worried about damage to the playing surface.
"We've played on a few surfaces that probably weren't up to scratch and been able to deal with it, something that in the A-League over the years has become the norm," he said.
"You're going to face pitches that aren't all that good."
Second-placed Sydney have won seven straight against Melbourne City, who are winless in their last six games.
''We need to put the Champions League behind us and focus on the league now and stretching the distance between us and (third placed) Melbourne Victory and trying to sew up a top two spot," Brosque said.