Belief growing in the Mariners

Staj stands in his technical area against Macarthur

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic says that the belief within his side is building and their form improving following Tuesday’s FFA Cup quarter-final win against Hume City.

Abraham Majok’s stoppage time winner in the second half helped the Mariners into their second FFA Cup semi-final berth in club history, and Stajcic said the confidence and chemistry within the squad continues to grow as the Hyundai A-League season looms closer.

“It’s one step at a time [for us],” Stajcic said.

“Every win we take, every game is important for us in building the belief not just back in the playing group but in the staff, the admin staff, the whole club, the fan group.

“We want everyone to start believing in this group of players. I have a lot of belief that we can be really competitive in the A-League this year, so as long as we keep building we’ll be a genuine contender in it.”

The Mariners will find out their semi-final opponent on Wednesday night following the conclusion of the last two quarter-finals, and with a largely new squad behind him Stajcic is impressed with the way they have come together with many of them having something to prove.

“Some of these boys have had a couple of different clubs in the last few years,” and that is what’s exciting for me,” he said.

“There’s so much room for growth, we all know the potential of some of these blokes, I could rifle through the entire team.”

“As long as they can get into a rhythm of playing matches week in, week out and we keep improving not only with our style of play, but also our belief, then we’ll be genuinely competitive.

“This team is a new team, basically three quarters has been put together this year.”

“We have what feels like the longest pre-season in the history of football, but for us it’s important because we’ve spent 12 weeks together with 15 or 16 new players and we just keep improving.”

“And those combinations and that chemistry only improves the more you train and play together.

“Matches like this where it was a real test and we were playing against a very good side will only improve us.”