Central Coast Mariners are back at home following back-to-back away games in the Isuzu UTE A-League, as they host Sydney FC in the second game of a huge Double Header at Our Paradise this Saturday.
Mark Jackson’s side kick-off at 7:45pm, following our Liberty A-League side who take on Melbourne Victory at 5pm.
⏮ Last time out
Mariners’ top two clash with Wellington Phoenix ended goalless, extending our unbeaten run to 14 in all competitions, whilst Sydney FC let a two-goal lead slip against bottom-of-the-league Western United at North Hobart Oval.
3 straight clean sheets, just 2 goals conceded in 6 games during 2024 so far! 🔥— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) February 6, 2024
An incredible start to the New Year from our defence! 👏
Tickets for the weekend 🎟: https://t.co/l4lEfTYCRr#CCMFC #BeOurMate pic.twitter.com/eCcS3uUEaX
👀 Players to watch
Josh Nisbet’s recent form was this week rewarded with the PFA Player of the Month award. He comes into the game against Sydney with six assists in his last eight games, whilst Angel Torres has scored nine goals in his last nine appearances.
Joe Lolley is the Sky Blues’ talisman. The Englishman has eight goals and five assists so far this campaign, meaning he has been directly involved in almost half of Sydney FC’s 27 goals so far this campaign.
Those personal stats for Lolley also mean he has already bettered his output from the whole of last season in which he scored and assisted six each. So he is one for the Mariners defence to keep close tabs on.
If Lolley operates from his favoured position on the right, he will be up against the in-form Jacob Farrell, which has the making of another great 1v1 battle that our young left-back thrives on.
Jacob Farrell's last six matches for the @CCMariners: 🔥🌴— Front Page Football (@FrontPgFootball) February 8, 2024
– 6 games (6 starts)
– 4 clean sheets
– 1 assist
– Has played every minute
The 21-year-old defender just keeps going from strength to strength at the Mariners and has been a key player for the Gosford-based side.
🗣 Mark Jackson: “We have the edge playing at home.”
Jackson began this week’s press conference by expressing his content with four points from our two-game away trip this week.
“Two difficult and contrasting games, I thought we were excellent against Adelaide for long periods. I thought it was a fantastic team performance. It was free-flowing, we created a lot of chances and scored some fantastic goals,” he said.
“Compared to Wellington where it wasn’t as action packed in the penalty areas but there was some fantastic football played, it was a real tactical game, two good teams against each other than had done their homework on each other and cancelled each other out.”
Our Football Manager is excited for a big occasion for the supporters and is looking forward to returning to a big home crowd. He maintains that the Mariners continue to focus on their own qualities and threats, but will be weary of how Sydney can be dangerous.
“We’ve looked into them, we know they can be dangerous, like other teams. It’s a game that excites supporters and I hope for a great atmosphere and a great game, if we get things right and perform to the levels we can, then we are a match for anybody.”
We always feel like we have the edge playing at home. The crowd play a massive part, with the Women’s team playing as well there is going to be massive support there for the club. We always want to start on the front foot and impose ourselves when teams visit our ground. That’s what we’ll try and do against Sydney.
“They play a certain way where they can be dangerous collectively. With [Joe] Lolley they have experience and he has been firing this season. We have to be mindful of them, but we always focus on what we do, we know if we can be consistent, play our game and execute that well, then teams are going to be in for a game against us.”
“We feel prepared, it’s been a challenge with travel but we have a great group of staff who know how to handle these situations, so the boys are full of energy and ready to go. We go into every game with confidence.”
Jackson also spoke tactical observations since arriving at the club, Nisbet’s POTM award, plus Ryan Edmondson’s impact and expectations in his first two outings as a Mariner. Watch the full press conference on the Official Central Coast Mariners YouTube channel.
2️⃣ games instead of 1️⃣! 🤩— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) February 7, 2024
2️⃣ tickets for the price of 1️⃣! 🎟
Join us this Saturday for a massive double header against Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC! 🌴
Tickets 👉 https://t.co/l4lEfTYCRr#CCMFC #BeOurMate pic.twitter.com/IxnQpAZHCn