Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss says he’s expecting a strong reaction from his charges when the yellow and navy take on Kenny Lowe’s Perth Glory on the banks of the Brisbane Water this Sunday.
The Mariners have lost their last two Hyundai A-League fixtures against Sydney FC (away) and Wellington Phoenix (home) respectively, though possess a remarkable record against the men from the west at Central Coast Stadium.
Indeed, the Mariners have never lost to the purple-whites in Gosford in regulation or extra time, though the men from nib Stadium did claim a penalty shootout triumph against Central Coast in the Hyundai A-League 2012 Finals Series after the game ended in a 1-1 stalemate after two hours of match action.
Returning to a venue he knows his players adore, Moss expects his men to lift in order to ensure Sunday afternoon is a glorious one for fans decked out in yellow.
“When we’re hurting we come out pretty strong so I am expecting a reaction and a very good performance on Sunday,” Moss said.
“Kenny Lowe has recruited very well during the off season, he’s got a lot of quality and they’re riding a wave of confidence at the moment and getting results, so that makes them a danger. But we’re at home and when we’re at home it’s about us.”
“We were disappointed to drop points against Wellington last home game and then last week against Sydney I thought we had enough chances to get something out of the game,” he said.
Against the Sky Blues at Allianz Stadium last round Central Coast did enjoy a number of opportunities to score.
However, Moss’s men were also guilty of giving away two cheap goals from set pieces.
Work in both the back and front thirds of the field has been plentiful at Mariners HQ ahead of the visit of Perth.
“Defending set pieces isn’t about the back four, it’s about the whole group,” Moss said. “There was a couple of things that we wrong last week and Sydney exploited them.”
“But it’s something we’ve looked at on the training pitch this week and certainly it will be fixed for the visit of Perth.”
“Where I want to see a big improvement is threatening the opposition goal and taking our chances when they present themselves.”
“Football is a game of fine margins and there’s not much between us winning (and losing) games at the moment.”
“I’ve got a strong vision of where I want this football team and how I want us playing football and we’re slowly but surely getting there. It just needs a little bit of confidence, a result to go our way, a ball to hit the back of the net at the right time of the game and I’m sure that will give us lift off,” he said.
In a boost for the Mariners, all-time leading marksman Matt Simon will turn out for the Club in its Foxtel National Youth League fixture against Glory Youth in Tuggerah on Saturday.
Simon’s participation in the match will mark his first competitive minutes in some time, and should he perform it will give Moss more welcome headaches in regards to his team and squad selection for future games.
Indeed from Sunday the Mariners will play five games in 14 days across the Hyundai A-League and Westfield FFA Cup, with fixtures taking place in three states.
“‘Simmo’ (Simon) is back to full fitness and training now,” Moss said. “He had a disrupted pre-season for personal reasons and obviously this is a family Club so we gave him as much time as he needed.”
“He is training the house down now and I have to say he has looked very good in training.”
“We don’t want to play him to fatigue but certainly depending on how he goes he may be involved in the (Westfield FFA) Cup game midweek against Adelaide,” Moss concluded.
Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory – Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 5
When: Sunday 9 November, 2014
Where: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Tickets: Please click here to purchase tickets to the match
Television: LIVE on FOX SPORTS
Twitter: @CCMariners #CCMvPER