Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna admits his team was the better side in tonight’s 2-all pre-season trial match draw against Hyundai A-League newcomer Gold Coast United, and is disappointed not to have come away with more from the match.
Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna admits his team was the better side in tonight-s 2-all pre-season trial match draw against Hyundai A-League newcomer Gold Coast United, and is disappointed not to have come away with more from the match.
“I thought we had it won, we were comfortable, we dominated, and had a couple of clear cut chances, you should be comfortable with ten men,” McKinna said.
“Credit to Gold Coast, they still had that drive, (Jason) Culina was still driving them. Their first goal, Hutch (John Hutchinson) went in to win the ball, he (Traore) went in to clear the ball, he made a break, went inside and got a deflected chance. That-s all they needed, it gave them a lift and we started to tire, because that-s where we are at in pre-season, but we should have had it won, it was very disappointing.
“We were happy, the first fifteen minutes they gave everything they had, Danny made one great save, and their half chances came from us turning the ball over. Once we changed our shape I thought we were very comfortable.
“I think anyone is going to be a contender, they had a couple of boys missing, and while you can only play 11 players, they are going to be competitive. They have got a good squad, with a bit of depth there, and they showed that tonight, but I think it-s a bit too early to say, especially things like going through undefeated, they should have been defeated tonight.
“They-ll be competitive, and playing here in front of a good crowd with a good atmosphere will drive them on, they-re going to be a handy team,” said McKinna.
After a dominant but scoreless first half, the Mariners went up through a Pedj Bojic free kick in the 48th minute, a carbon copy of strikes against Queensland State League side Logan United and a Capital Football select XI this pre-season.
“Boogs (Nigel Boogaard) should have scored early, and then we had a couple of chances as the half went on, but then we got the free kick, and it wasn-t as though it was a fluke that-s the third one (Pedj Bojic) has scored like that in five games, it was a bomb. It doesn-t matter that they had a man sent off, they could have had 20 men on the field and it still would have gone in.
“Our other goal was well worked, and at that time we were well on top, but again, credit goes to them for coming back and showing that fighting spirit,” said McKinna.
McKinna says the squad was honest in its assessment of the performance in the dressing room post match, and is ready to put plans in place to build on tonight-s result.
“The players had the words, it was quite good seeing the players taking control and having a bit of a go. When Adrian Caceres and Ahmad Elrich came on, they did less running than the boys already out there so that was disappointing. Adrian was up front, its not his usual position but you can still run and shout for the ball, but he didn-t do that, and Ahmad as well, the two of them didn-t do that so that was disappointing.
“(Scottish trialist Michael McGlinchey) is here for another week and we were quite happy with him. I don-t think he spilled up the ball once, he was very tidy. He-d only done a week-s pre-season before he got here so I-m sure he-ll get better. It-s always good to get the ball and make things happen in midfield, so we were quite happy with him,” McKinna said.
The Mariners- pre-season continues next Saturday when they take on Wellington Phoenix at Apex Oval, Dubbo, Kick-off is at 6:00pm.
Reserved Grandstand tickets are $20 (no concession) and are available at Dubbo RSL Club. General Admission is available at the gate, adults are $10 and Child/Concession $5.
Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are available online by clicking here or by phoning 1300 767 442.