Central Coast Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery is pleased with the momentum that the side is taking into this weekend’s blockbuster match, coming off the back of two straight victories.
Since having the full squad available for the first time in multiple months, the Mariners have put the competition on notice, winning with a combined aggregate of 7-1 against Brisbane and Western.
“After two games with everyone back, to have been able to pick up maximum points was obviously what we wanted going into this last regular season home game,” he said.
“We go in full of confidence and hopefully we can continue to pick up points over these last three games to give us a good chance of getting a home final.”
The win last Friday was an important one for the club in many ways, our first A-League victory in the state of Victoria since 2014. Montgomery pleased to have been able to help break that unwanted record as we move into the back end of the season.
“Obviously that was a good record to break and an unwanted record for the club. For me and the players it was irrelevant. I have only been in charge since last season, a couple of those results last year we should have taken points which was out of our hands,” he said.
“Fantastic for the club to get the win in Victoria and moving forward hopefully we can make sure that it isn’t another 28 games.”
One of the other good news stories to come out of the match against Western United was a first Mariners goal for Dylan Wenzel-Halls. The striker having a rough time with injury since arriving from the Victorian club in January, first making his debut for the Central Coast against Brisbane a fortnight ago.
“I am really happy for Dylan. It was a really difficult time, we signed him in January to bolster the squad. To roll your ankle in the first session and then miss seven or eight weeks which seemed to go on and on and on,” Montgomery said.
“He was obviously a frustrated figure for a long time. For him to get back on the field and score his first goal it was an amazing moment of him and the club. Many more to come, he is a proven goal scorer, a real fox around the box.”
Our head coach pleased to have both Wenzel-Halls and Moresche fit and firing heading into the back end of the season, with the Brazilian the man who set up Wenzel-Halls’ first Mariners goal.
“To be able to bring him and Moresche off the bench at the minute is really powerful for us and keeps Jason and Marco on their toes. We need that competition for places especially in the front line,” he said.
“It is really good for Dylan, fantastic that that is now his first goal off his back and hopefully he can concentrate on getting match fit and ready for when we need him.”
Heading into a tough match up against current league leaders Melbourne City, Montgomery is not taking the side likely. Clear that he will give the team the respect they deserve, while going into the match full of confidence.
“The focus of training this week has been entirely on Melbourne City on Saturday. We know that they are a top team who are where they are because they deserve to be. Coming here we know we are stronger at home, and we go out to win every game at home anyway,” he said.
“We obviously respect them; they have some great players and are one of the biggest teams in the competition by far. We don’t really worry about the opposition too much, but we will definitely give them the respect that they deserve and hopefully we get a good crowd as well.”
This weekend’s match a special one for the club, being this season’s Pink Round. Montgomery familiar with the occasion, having taken part as both a coach and player before.
“For Pink Round this weekend hopefully we see lots of pink shirts out there on Saturday. It is a good initiative from the club, and it is always a special occasion,” he said.
“Hopefully the fans can come out in force, and we can create a really good atmosphere for the last regular season home game. We can really start building that momentum going into finals.”