I’VE said many times before in this column that if you get the process right you give yourself every chance of success.
I-VE said many times before in this column that if you get the process right you give yourself every chance of success.
It-s fair to say that adage let us down last Saturday night when we suffered a 1-0 loss to Western Sydney Wanderers – our first of the season at Fortress Bluetongue.
We certainly got the process right with some of the best football we have played all season and our defensive structure was 99.9% of the way to perfect – WSW cracked it once for their only chance of the game and took full advantage.
But it wasn-t so much them taking their chance as it was luck deserting us at the other end on the night.
Going into the game we had scored 11 goals in the two previous A-League games with a 5-0 victory over Wellington and a 6-2 demolition of Melbourne Victory.
Fast forward to Match Day 1 of the Asian Champions League and we created five clear-cut chances to score against Suwon and then again on Saturday night we saw four or five quality chances go begging.
The finger of blame should not be pointed at anyone in a Mariners- jersey. If you want to blame anyone look for Lady Luck.
That is not to flick pass any responsibility but when you create the chances we have and have players on the end of them in the right place at the right time and showing the same technique that has scored us goals in the recent past you go away in the knowledge that things are still in a very good place within the team.
It-s a point we have stressed to the players all week and though we were all disappointed to relinquish the competition lead to the Wanderers last weekend there is nothing but positive energy within the camp.
The players had the opportunity to freshen up last weekend after the Wanderers game following a busy week with three games in eight days and looking ahead to another three-game week (with the added travel factor) this coming week.
Sydney FC (away), Kashiwa Reysol (away in Japan) and Brisbane Roar (home) in the coming eight days is a fantastic challenge and one that we are all relishing.
The players are top fit and will be well prepared and focused for the games but first things first we have a score to settle at Allianz Stadium tomorrow night (Sat).
The feeling of seeing Brett Emerton rise at the back post to nod home a late winner for Sydney FC last time we ventured there still produces a bitter taste in the mouth and we want to put that right this weekend.
Our target was always to reach 52 points as quickly as we can this season and this is another step along that road.
Western Sydney will have all the pressure on them over the closing weeks of the competition and it-s our intention to increase that by winning our remaining games.
I have to say the support we received at Bluetongue Stadium last Saturday night in the face of a very strong WSW contingent was outstanding and I-m tipping a lot of those supporters will be back when we meet Brisbane Roar on Sunday week after the football we produced on the night.
First we tackle Sydney FC tomorrow night and then we carry the Australian flag with us into ACL battle in Japan on Wednesday night.
It-s a schedule every player and coach in the A-League would love to have and we are honoured that it-s us in this position.
Time to embrace it and show what we are really made of!
Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners – Hyundai A-League round 24
Saturday 9 March, 2013
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match.
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag is #SYDvCCM
Transport: Travel to Allianz Stadium in comfort on an official Central Coast Mariners supporter bus. Please CLICK HERE to book your seat with Coastal Liner Coaches.