NEWS: Mariners upbeat ahead of Roar showdown


Central Coast Head Coach Phil Moss said the mood in the Mariners camp remains upbeat and enlivened despite the side’s current string of Hyundai A-League results.

As the team prepares to commence a crucial period of three games within a week before the competition’s pause for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Moss admits there is concern within the group regarding results and the team’s current ladder position of eighth, but that’s because of the pride that exists at the Club. 

“I’m concerned and the players are concerned because we’re not winning games,” Moss said. “And that’s because we care.”

“No one wants to be in this situation and we’re not happy with the results, but we are certainly seeing light at the end of the tunnel with regards to how we’re playing.”

“We’re playing well for longer periods of games and we’re creating a lot of great goalscoring opportunities,” he said.

The yellow and navy will meet Brisbane Roar on the banks of the Brisbane Water on Saturday, and in a clear show of their commitment to the cause the players and staff left their families on Christmas Day for their penultimate training session before the clash.

The team then finalised its preparations for Saturday’s meeting with the Queenslanders with a tactical session at Central Coast Stadium on Boxing Day.

In reference to not conceding goals in quick succession, Moss said his men most show more street smarts in its upcoming fixtures against Roar, Wanderers and Melbourne City.

“If we do concede we have to be street-wise for the next five or ten minutes and get ourselves back in the game,” he explained.

“Goals change games and when you’re on the receiving end it hits your confidence a bit. When you’re on the scoring end it lifts your confidence and gives you that extra spring in your step.”

“That’s something we’ve addressed with the players, but the attitude and the mood in the dressing room is fantastic given our situation.”

“I know it’s only a matter of time until it [results] turns, but we can’t just wait for it to turn, we have to go out there and make it turn.”

The Mariners will be minus young gun Mickey Neill for Saturday’s clash against Roar, while tough midfielder Nick Montgomery remains a fifty-fifty proposition due to a calf injury.

Neill sustained a foot injury against Perth Glory last round, which forced him to leave the field in the 39th minute.

“Mickey is in a boot at the moment so he will certainly be out this week, but we’re just waiting for the full extent of the injury to come through on the scan results,” Moss said.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed that it’s not too long term but certainly he’s a loss because he’s been playing very well and injected a lot of good things from left back both defensively and offensively.”

“But we’ve got cover and it will obviously open up an opportunity for someone else to come into the team and take their claim.” 

“‘Monty’ [Montgomery] is being nursed back to fitness – whether he’s right for this weekend or not will be touch and go. But certainly I won’t be taking any risks with him,” Moss concluded. 

Central Coast Mariners vs. Brisbane Roar – Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 12
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Saturday 27 December 2014
Kick-off: 5:00pm
Tickets: Please click here to purchase tickets to the match
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