Moss: “Three points for Christmas!”


NO prizes for guessing what Graham Arnold and his coaching staff have on our Santa “wish list” this Christmas!

NO prizes for guessing what Graham Arnold and his coaching staff have on our Santa “wish list” this Christmas!

Three points across the ditch – no need to gift-wrap them – is what we have asked the bearded one to slip under the tree.

The trip across the Tasman has yielded great success for us in recent seasons capped of course by the one standout memory of clinching last season-s Premier-s Plate at the ‘Cake Tin’.

Wellington Phoenix goes into the game in seventh spot but was better than its 3-1 loss to Adelaide last weekend suggested.

They are always a different proposition in Wellington to what they are on the road and we need to ensure we are ready for a battle and any conditions the windy city may throw at us.

One area we are keen to improve is the ‘killer instinct- in front of goal and while we have managed two commanding 2-0 wins on the trot against Newcastle and Melbourne Heart, the score line in both games should have been larger in our favour.

It-s a great sign that we are creating the chances we are and four goals for and none against in our last two starts is nothing to complain about.

But the Mariners- mantra is to strive for perfection and we know we can be better in front of goal.

Wellington is usually not the place where a load of goals are scored so it-s important we convert any half chances if we are to return with the coveted three points.

Training has been very sharp and intense this week and with the likes of Ollie Bozanic and Mile Sterjovski right back in the frame for selection, competition for places is high.

The success of the team with four wins and draw from our last five starts can be put down largely to that competition for places in the starting XI with players on the fringe pushing those getting a start all the way week in, week out.

Last weekend-s performance against Melbourne Heart was fantastic in what was a tricky game for us. The Heart are one of those sides that is capable of really turning it on with players in key positions able to win games on their own.

Our defensive structure limited them to just two chances in 90 minutes on the night and it was left to right back Pedj Bojic to bob up with a brace – the first of his professional career – to ensure the three points stayed on the coast.

While there is plenty of talk in the media about our start to the season and where that may lead us by competition-s end, I can assure you the only talk inside the dressing room is about the next game. Clichéd? Absolutely, but nothing is decided at this stage of the season. The players have set a fantastic platform for themselves but looking too far ahead is simply something that won-t happen at the Mariners.

Before I go I-d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe and relaxing holiday period. Don-t forget to put New Year-s Eve in the calendar now for a night at Bluetongue Stadium to watch your mighty Mariners do battle with last season-s beaten Grand Finalists Perth Glory. Kick-off is 6:00pm.

Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners – Hyundai A-League round 12
Saturday 22 December, 2012
Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand
Kick-off: 5:00pm (local); 3:00pm (AEDST)
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official match hashtag is #NIXvCCM
TV: LIVE on Fox Sports 1 & Fox Sports 1HD from 3:00pm AEDST