Mariners ‘focussed’ as Jackson eyes ‘entertaining’ Wanderers clash

Central Coast Mariners are looking to take their fine form at the end of 2023 in to 2024, as they take on Western Sydney Wanderers in their first Isuzu UTE A-League game of the new year, kick-off 5:30pm at CommBank Stadium in Parramatta.

This is the Men’s closest away trip of our season so far, providing a great chance for supporters to come and watch Mark Jackson’s Mariners on the road for the first time.

The game presents a tough test on paper for the Mariners. Wanderers will be eyeing top spot this weekend after Wellington Phoenix dropped points on Thursday in Adelaide and Jacko has plenty of respect for a “well coached” Wanderers side.

“We’ve watched a lot of them, we are going to have to be really good out of possession and show our quality with the ball as well. If we bring our top game it’s going to hopefully be an entertaining game,” he said, speaking to the press this week.

They are really strong. They are well coached, they have some fantastic players and play a good brand of football as well, so we are going to have to be on top of our game and do everything we can to get the result.

The Mariners will certainly go into the game with their own confidence, on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run stemming back to November.

“The boys will be focussed. We are in a good moment but we can’t let that confidence run away with us. We have to be focussed and respect the opposition, they are a fantastic team on a really good run as well,” Jackson said.

“It’s an old cliche but you go from game to game, I only got told about [the run] afterwards but it’s a good recognition for what the boys have achieved. We’re in a good moment but we need to keep that momentum and focus going.”

“We want to be consistent in how we work. When tough times come in football you have to stay focussed and level headed and nothing changes when you’re on a good run like we are at the minute,” he added.

[The players] are showing great focus every day in training and we are trying to get better everyday, that’s all we’re trying to do.

Squad list

Jackson names an unchanged 20-man squad for the trip to Parramatta, with Tulio included for the final time before he heads to Japan.

Last time out

The Mariners ended a historic year for the club with an entertaining 4-2 win over Perth Glory on New Years Eve thanks to goals from Jacob Farrell, Alou Kuol and a Marco Tulio brace.

Wanderers also come into the game off the back of a win over the New Year period, they defeated Macarthur 3-1 at CommBank on New Years Day thanks to goals from Marcus Antonsson, Aidan Simmons and Valentino Yuel.

Previous meetings

The two sides have played out a number of classic A-League matches over the years, including our round five clash last season.