Central Coast Mariners boss Phil Moss believes the yellow and navy’s latest trip to Asia has only served to help his side improve as the Club enters the business end of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season and 2014 AFC Champions League Group Stage campaign.
Central Coast Mariners boss Phil Moss believes the yellow and navy-s latest trip to Asia has only served to help his side improve as the Club enters the business end of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season and 2014 AFC Champions League Group Stage campaign.
While some managers might complain about the taxing travel times and demanding schedules put before them when competing on the domestic and continental fronts, Moss believes the Club-s two trips to Asia so far in 2014 have been nothing but beneficial for his side.
“Our Asian adventure has only positives,” Moss said prior to the Mariners- clash with Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park this afternoon. “Four weeks ago in Korea we got back to basics, and our defensive structure and our ability to build up from the back and hurt teams has improved our of sight over the last month.”
“In Beijing we asked a lot of questions of them in the second half. We had one chance in the first half and nine in the second half from open play and set pieces, so there were some real positives to take away from the trip to China for today-s match and the rest of the season.”
After just one day off in the last 24, Moss intends to reward his men with a well-earned two day break following today-s match against John van-t Schip-s side.
The Mariners will reconvene on Wednesday for a three day preparation leading into next Saturday-s crunch Hyundai A-League round 25 meeting with Western Sydney Wanderers in Gosford.
“It-s all about getting the balance right and certainly the boys have worked very hard over the past month,” he said.
“Three points today would set us up very well for a normal preparation week.”
“Everyone is looking fit, fresh and strong and the squad is a happy squad.”
“But from tomorrow we will have the chance to give them a couple of days R & R and that-s nothing less than they deserve,” he said.
With their finals hopes on the line, Moss believes all the pressure this afternoon will be on the home side this afternoon.
“If Melbourne don-t get maximum points their season is pretty much done,” he said. “All the pressure is on them … it-s their Grand Final.”
“We are the masters of our own destiny, so if we continue to pick up points then we don-t have to look behind us.”
Moss added that two players that didn-t make the trip to China – Mile Sterjovski and Anthony Caceres – will play a role in the match.
“They-ll [Sterjovski and Caceres] certainly be involved but the guys who have travelled are very fit and very fresh and are carrying momentum as well. We were very happy with the second half and thought we deserved more out of the game, so we-ve got a lot of players carrying confidence and good form.”
Kick-off this afternoon is at 3:00pm AEDT, with the match to be shown live on Fox Sports 3 & 3HD.
Melbourne Heart FC vs. Central Coast Mariners FC – Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Round 24
Sunday 23 March 2014
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter using #MHTvCCM
TV: Watch the match LIVE on FOX SPORTS 3 &3HD
Radio: Listen to the match LIVE on ABC Grandstand