Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss says his side are heading into Sunday’s clash with Melbourne City with newfound confidence after an impressive second-half performance in their Westfield FFA Cup semi-final on Wednesday.
“I was obviously disappointed by the result but am very encouraged by the second half performance against Adelaide. After the break, I thought we pressed higher, we won the ball in good areas, and we were aggressive and that Mariners spirit started to come through again,” he said.
“I think we turned a big corner on Wednesday night. The football we played and the attitude in the second half was fantastic and I am very confident.”
The yellow and navy will take on Melbourne City on Sunday, before meeting Western Sydney Wanderers next Wednesday and returning home for a clash with Adelaide United on Sunday 23 November.
The Mariners boss insists his team need to secure maximum points from all three fixtures in order to work their way back up the Hyundai A-League ladder.
“We have a great opportunity over the next week to play for nine points in seven days and that’s got to be our target. I have confidence we can go down to Melbourne and get a result,” said Moss.
“Then we have Western Sydney away. They haven’t had a great start to the A-League season despite their Asian success. We have to go into every game knowing we are a great chance of winning the game.”
Moss shared his disappointment after substitute Matt Simon was ruled out of his first senior game of this term against Adelaide on Wednesday – leaving the pitch with a quad injury only 12 minutes after scoring the Mariners’ opening goal.
“I’m devastated for him. He will go for scans later today, but until we get the results of those scans we won’t know for sure, but I’m anticipating one to two weeks at this stage,” Moss said.
“He’s such a professional and I know that he’ll leave no stone unturned to get back as quickly as possible and the sooner we get him back the better.”
“He has left a lasting impression on the team, we will take that forward and I’m sure it will give us a little added motivation this weekend to get the points over Melbourne.”
Central Coast defender Joshua Rose says his side are desperate to bounce back to their best against John van’t Schip’s men on Sunday.
“Of course we need the result this weekend. We are going to take the positives out of the second half against Adelaide and we’ll build from there,” he said.
“We have a busy week ahead, so we’ve got to take it one game at a time and try to build on the good things and try to get the results we need.”
Rose also says the men from Gosford’s idyllic bayside arena will need to be wary of some of Melbourne’s danger men.
“They have a lot of pace up front. David Williams and Mate Dugandzic are both very quick and they both showed against Brisbane that they are in form and can finish and punish you if you make mistakes,” Rose concluded.
“It’s important for us to keep tight on them even when we have possession, we just need to keep an eye on them and punish them on the attack as well.”