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Past Sydney FC coach John Kosmina goes in to bat for Frank Farina

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Former Sydney FC coach John Kosmina has come to the defence of Sky Blues' manager Frank Farina, saying Farina is not to blame for the club's plight.

Kosmina was sacked in 2009 after failing to guide the club to the finals in his first full season in charge. The former Socceroos striker remains disillusioned at the manner of his own departure and said he felt the same forces that undermined his tenure were at play again.

"What I will say is that I sympathise with him, and having been there, I empathise with his case," Kosmina said. "One thing I can say for sure is that it's not his fault."

Complicating Farina's position is his decision to banish Nick Carle and Matt Thompson from training after the pair swapped positions in the 3-0 loss to Adelaide without the coach's blessing. Carle also aired his frustration at being played out of position after the match, which Farina perceived as a slight on his authority.

Farina has been admonished by Professional Footballers Australia, who have threatened legal action if Carle and Thompson are not immediately allowed to return to full training.

"The actions of Sydney FC in excluding Nick and Matt from training are not in accordance with the CBA," said PFA general manager Adam Vivian. "If the situation is not remedied within 24 hours, we will take the necessary legal steps."


Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata declined to comment but the club issued a statement regarding the PFA threat.

"Sydney FC is currently in discussions with two of its players and Professional Footballers Australia over a number of issues," it said. "We are confident a resolution to these matters will be found."

Farina's position couldn't be any more precarious – even bookmaker Sportsbet opened a market on his successor on Tuesday. Assistant coach Rado Vidosic, who is contracted for next season, has been listed as a $3.50 favourite to take over, with youth team coach Steve Corica, Alessandro Del Piero and former captain Mark Rudan next in the betting.

With talk of a boycott by supporters, one of the lowest crowds of the season is tipped for Saturday's clash with Perth.