After a controversial defeat at the hands of Melbourne City at AAMI Park, the Central Coast Mariners once again are on the road away to Adelaide United this Saturday at Coopers Stadium.
The Mariners are yet to face Adelaide United this season but despite that, will be looking to pick up a win over the high-flying reds at a venue that is a difficult place to travel for any team.
In recent times, the Mariners have been on the wrong end of some controversial decisions and will be looking to use this match as the turning point of their season as they currently sit 11th on the table with three games in hand over their red opponents on Saturday. On Tuesday, they found themselves at the centre of VAR and referee controversy and will feel frustrated with the outcome of the reviews which since the match, were revealed to be incorrect.
While disappointed in the manner of defeat against Melbourne City and Victory, Mariners Head Coach Nick Montgomery was looking at the positives of a fantastic team performance against two of the top sides in the Isuzu UTE A-League this season.
“Mentally, it was a tough night for everybody, but the boys are resilient. We control the things that we can control and on Tuesday a lot was out of our control, but it gives us more motivation to go to Adelaide and get a positive result.
“For us we approach every game the same and that is looking at the opposition, concentrating on ourselves and knowing we can compete with and beat any team in the league,” Montgomery said.
The Reds come into the game after being drenched 4-1 away to Macarthur FC and the two haven’t met at Coopers Stadium since February 2021 where United ran out 3-2 winners in another highly controversial match.
This time for the Reds, the occasion is highly emotional as they host the first ever Pride Game in the A-League which will be celebrating equality. This comes off the back of the announcement late last year which made headlines around the globe with Josh Cavalho coming out as gay.
With what is going to be a strong vocal crowd behind them, Adelaide will be looking to get back to winning ways, however Mariners captain Ollie Bozanic spoke at confidence about the fact that this becomes just another match for the Yellow and Navy.
“They have a lot of dangerous players in their ranks, but its more about focusing on what we need to do to win the game.
“I don’t think it [Pride Game] will change anything football wise. It’s a big occasion and one that we should be acknowledging and celebrating for the community as this is acceptance for people all over the world and Australia and it is great to see,” Bozanic said.
The Yellow and Navy will look to break their winless streak at Coopers Stadium this weekend as they last won away to the Reds in 2016 with current Mariners coach Nick Montgomery providing an assist for Connor Pain in a 2-1 win.
Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United
Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s MW12
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide United, SA
Saturday 26th February 2022
Kick Off: 7:45pm
Broadcast Live on Paramount+ (NSW, QLD, VIC) & Network 10 (SA, WA)