The Mariners travel to Geelong this weekend for Round 21 of the Hyundai A-League, meeting Western United for the third time this campaign.
Beaten 3-0 by Sydney last weekend to continue a six-game losing streak, the Mariners will look to bounce back against a side with who they have split the season series so far.
Alen Stajcic’s side won the first encounter in round seven when they held off Western United at Central Coast Stadium, before conceding three goals in the opening 20 minutes in Round 15 at Sunday’s venue.
They will be looking for an improved performance from that day, and Staj spoke on Friday about the importance of breaking a barren spell in front of goals.
“Last week and the week before we played really well [but] we just couldn’t get that goal to change the scoreboard and put it in our favour, and put get a little bit of scoreboard pressure on the opposition,” he said.
“But actually in the last two weeks the performance has been really good and I said that after the game and I’m proud of how we be improved over that period but as we all know this is a results based business and we need to ensure that we get in front on the scoreboard which we haven’t done yet.”
The Mariners conceded early last week before piling pressure on the reigning champions but it was eventually to no avail, and Stajcic will be wanting a better start this week.
The afore-mentioned round 15 clash between these two teams began poorly when Besart Berisha headed home a very early and it will need to be a different beginning this time to yield a different result.
Stajcic was forced into a late change to his squad on Saturday with Daniel DeSilva withdrawing due to illness, replaced instead by exciting youngster Alou Kuol who netted six goals in six games during the Foxtel Y-League season.
Western United FC squad: 1.Filip KURTO (gk), 4.Andrew DURANTE, 5.Dylan PIERIAS, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 7.Valentino YUEL, 9.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS, 10. Steven LUSTICA 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Dario JERTEC, 14.Max BURGESS, 17.Joshua CAVALLO, 18.Besart BERISHA, 19.Josh RISDON, 22.Tomislav USKOK, 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 24.Thiel IRADUKUNDA, 25.Luke DUZEL, 27.Jerry SKOTADIS, 28.Oskar Dillon, 30.Ryan SCOTT (gk)
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 9.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (promoted), 24.Thiel IRADUKUNDA (promoted), 25.Luke DUZEL (promoted)
Outs: 8.Panagiotis KONE (arm)
Unavailable: 2.Aaron CALVER (foot – 2 weeks) 13.Ivan VUJICA (osteitis ), 20.James DELIANOV (gk) (knee, season), 3.Brendan HAMILL (knee, season)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Eunsun KIM, 7.Milan ÐURIĆ, 8.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9.Jordan MURRAY, 10.Tommy OAR, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Sam SILVERA, 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 19.Matt SIMON, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 24.Chris HAROLD, 26.Joshua NISBET, 27.Lewis MILLER, 29.Jair BRITTO, 44. Alou KUOL
**2-4 to be omitted**
In: 15.Kye ROWLES (Return from Injury), 16.Dylan FOX (Promoted), 44. Alou KUOL (Promoted)
Out: 11. Daniel DeSilva (sickness)
Unavailable: 14.Abraham MAJOK (Injured), 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ (International Duty)
Match Details |
Sunday, 1st March
GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
Kick-off: 4:00pm (AEDT)
Referee: Ben Abraham
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Brown
Assistant Referee 2: Andrew Meimarakis
Fourth Official: Adam Bavcar
VAR: Chris Beath
Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App
Radio: myfootballnation.com (Coast FM)