Arnold’s respect for Gombau’s Reds


Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold says his players will need to be on their toes against a reformed Adelaide United outfit at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold says his players will need to be on their toes against a reformed Adelaide United outfit at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

The astute Mariners boss is impressed with the squad Spaniard Josep Gombau has managed to compile at the Reds, and acknowledges securing the Mariners- first win of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 campaign against the men South Australia will be no simple task.

“Josep Gombau has brought some good experience to Adelaide,” Arnold said prior to the Club-s final training session ahead of the round 3 encounter. “And he (Gombau) has brought a different style to Adelaide.”

“Adelaide in the past was more of a long ball team, and played for the second ball with Sergio van Dijk up front. Under Josep they-re playing out from the back and the full backs are getting forward much more – there are more rotations in possession.”

“We-ve had to do a lot of video analysis this week on the change in Adelaide. They-ve got some good quality foreigners, especially up front. (Jeronimo) Neumann is in good form, and we-re going to have to be on our toes defensively to make sure we don-t give them any chances.”

The Mariners are currently on an eight game winning streak in the Hyundai A-League against Adelaide United, and are in fact undefeated against the Reds in Australia-s top flight since September 2009.

Indeed, Adelaide has lost more games against Central Coast Mariners (12) in the Hyundai A-League than against any other side.

Nevertheless, Arnold reckons these records will count for little come tomorrow-s contest, with the Reds in his mind one of the clear contenders for silverware this season.

“I-ve been quoted on record in the past that in my view Adelaide has the best squad,” he said. “They-ve got a lot of quality in their team and the two Spanish boys Josep has brought in (Sergio Cirio and Isaias) has added quality to their squad.”

“But we can only worry about the opposition, say, ten to 15 per cent. We need to be more concerned about ourselves. We-ve got enough confidence in our own ability and what we do. If we do things right and play to the best of our ability we-re confident we can get the three points.”

In regards to his squad selection, Arnold outlined that midfielder Michael McGlinchey is a certain starter against the men from the city of churches.

The nimble New Zealander was used off the bench last week having only returned from the All Whites- tour of North & Central America a day before the Club-s round 2 test against Melbourne Heart.

“I think you all know how highly I rate him,” Arnold said of McGlinchey. “I think he is in the top five players in the (Hyundai) A-League, and I thought he changed the game for us last week when he came on. He-s just such a threat going forward … he puts some defensive teams on their heels and he gives us a lot.”

And while his full focus will be on guiding his team to their first win of Hyundai A-League season nine against Adelaide, Arnold also made mention of his pride in the Club-s support of Pink Ribbon Day for the game.

For the second season in a row, the Mariners will don all pink kits to raise awareness and funds for the Cancer Council, and specifically women-s cancer research, prevention and support services.

“It-s very close to my heart,” he said. “I lost my mother when I was 18 to breast cancer, so it-s always a special thing for me if I can help in any way. It-s a fantastic initiative by the Mariners and I think we are the only team in the league that does it.”

“We had such a great day last season against Perth Glory when we played in pink and it-s on again tomorrow. Hopefully a lot of people turn up and support the cause.”

Central Coast Mariners vs. Adelaide United – Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Round 3
Saturday 26 October, 2013
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:30pm
Gates open: 4:30pm
Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to Saturday’s match between Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag is #CCMvADL
Watch: Live on Fox Sports 1 & 1HD
Listen: Live on ABC Grandstand and Coast FM