The Mariners are back at home for a big game on Saturday afternoon as Melbourne Victory come to town in Match Week 14 of the A-League.
It will be the first meeting between the two teams this season, as the A-League enters the second half of the campaign with a busy schedule ahead.
Victory will be trying to avoid a fifth straight loss having fallen to the Phoenix on Wednesday night, with the most recent win coming against the same team just over a month ago in Melbourne.
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) March 22, 2021
For Alen Stajcic and the Mariners, they are seeking a bounce back win after the 2-0 loss to an in-form Melbourne City on Monday, and today’s clash marks the first of three outings in the next 11 days with games against Adelaide and Wanderers to follow.
Despite Victory’s recent struggles on the field, Staj was adamant on Friday that they remain a dangerous team and one that cannot be taken lightly.
“I actually thought they were quite good [against Wellington], I don’t think the score line was a reflection of the game at all,” he said.
“I thought Victory were probably the more dominant team especially throughout the first half, Oliver Sail made two unbelievable saves to keep Wellington in front.”
Victory are on the bottom of the ladder, and had a tough game the other night but we can’t be complacent and underestimate them at all.”
“They’ve got enough firepower in Robbie Kruse, Kamsoba, Folami and other players who can come on and cause problems.”
“So they are definitely a team we won’t be taking lightly on Saturday night.”
Gianni Stensness returned to the squad that was announced Friday after coming through the team’s final session well, and the team has a clean bill of health heading into a busy period of the season.
Staj said it will be important to manage the group through the March-April schedule and issued one final call for support from the Coast’s football community.
“It’s still a tight turnaround for us, it’s still only four days in between games and then we have two more tight turnarounds between Adelaide and Wanderers so just trying to manage the team over that period is going to be really important,” he said.
“The football community on the Central Coast should really be proud of what these boys have achieved to this point,” he said.
“I think everyone can the see fight the hunger, the passion, for the shirt, for the team, for each other, and if they’re not going to get behind the team now then they probably never will.
“The boys are representing the Central Coast in the best possible way, I think they need the fans to replicate that in droves.”
“There’s always the core supporters who come and support and we’re always thankful and grateful to them but I think the whole football community of the Central Coast needs to come out and support this team and show that they do love the team.”
“Show that the Coast do deserve to have a team in the A-League, and I guess from the bigger picture show that more regional clubs should be in the A-League.”
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 6.Gianni STENSNESS, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DESILVA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 12.Marcos UREÑA, 14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michal JANOTA, 23.Dan HALL, 25.Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29.Alou KUOL, 32.Max BALARD
**1-3 to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Gianni STENSNESS (Return from Injury)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX , 3.Adama TRAORE, 4.Nicholas ANSELL, 5.Ryan SHOTTON, 7.Callum McMANAMAN, 8.Jacob BUTTERFIELD, 10.Robbie KRUSE, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 13.Birkan KIRDAR, 14.Jay BARNETT, 15.Aaron ANDERSON, 17.Elvis KAMSOBA, 19.Dylan RYAN, 20.Max CROCOMBE (gk), 22.Jake BRIMMER, 25.Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO, 33.Dalibor MARKOVIC, 35.Zaydan BELLO
**1-3 to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Ryan SHOTTON (return from injury), 19.Dylan RYAN (return from injury)
Unavailable: 6.Leigh BROXHAM (injured), 9.Rudy GESTEDE (injured – knee), 23.Marco ROJAS (injured – fractured leg)
Match Details |
Saturday, 27 March 2021
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Victory
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7:10pm (Local)(7:10pm (AEDT))
Referee: Alireza Faghani
Assistant Referee 1: Greg Taylor
Assistant Referee 2: Adam Powers
Fourth Official: Tim Danaskos
VAR: Kurt Ams
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:00pm (AEDT), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SEN Track Gosford 801AM), COAST FM 96.3
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvMVC