Graham Arnold says Sydney FC must take their destiny in their own hands as he continues his running battle with A-League referees.
Following his side's nil-all draw with Wellington Phoenix on Friday, the Sky Blues coach protested the standard of officiating by not showing up for the post-game press conference.
The always forthright mentor sent assistant Steve Corica to face reporters instead, fearing he risked a hefty penalty should he speak his mind about the match which was highlighted by eight yellow cards and a number of dubious decisions.
Sydney are winless in their past four outings and Arnold is adamant they had the chances to put away their last two games - nil-all draws against the Phoenix and Perth.
Arnold gave his players three days off to clear their heads after sharing the points with the Phoenix but demanded they be good enough to rise above any refereeing inconsistencies when they face Newcastle at Allianz Stadium on Friday.
"There was a lot of frustration around the game last week," Arnold said.
"Whether it was things not bouncing for us, decisions that were made.
"We have to be strong enough to win now to take the equation out of the referees' hands. We have to be better than that. Last week we had the chances to win."
Despite failing to net a goal in their past two performances, Arnold said he hadn't lost faith in his forward line.
He highlighted a number of near misses in recent weeks - in particular when Alex Brosque hit the post against the Phoenix - for why he remains confident in his team.
"When I analysed the Wellington game last week there were a lot of good things in it. The ball's just not dropping for us at the moment," Arnold said.
"Alex Brosque hit the post and we had Shane Smeltz waiting for the rebound and it goes across the goal and goes away.
"We hit the post four or five times this year and we can't seem to get a penalty for any money in the world and those sorts of things change games."