One-on-one with McGlinchey


WE catch up with midfield whiz Michael McGlinchey before the Mariners’ 2013 AFC Champions League Round of 16 second-leg game against Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday.

WE catch up with midfield whiz Michael McGlinchey before the Mariners’ 2013 AFC Champions League Round of 16 second-leg game against Guangzhou Evergrande on Wednesday.

Michael, the team’s first session was unfortunately interrupted yesterday. Can you explain how the halt in proceedings came about?
We started training and a big black cloud came over and within a couple of minutes it was torrential rain – I don-t think anyone had seen anything like it! The pitch got flooded and we had to cut training short after 20 minutes.

Today was thankfully much drier with the boys getting onto the Tianhe Stadium surface for a familiarisation session. What was the focus of the session?
I think it was just getting our sharpness back. We just did a lot of stuff with the ball and we went over a few things that we did last week against them [Guangzhou Evergrande]. The game plan is pretty solid and we-re all looking forward to the game now.

The tie is 2-1 in Guangzhou’s favour however the Mariners fashioned a number of opportunities first match. What positives can the team take from the first-leg into tomorrow night’s game?
We-ll take a lot of positives from the game. We did the video analysis last night and we saw that we created a lot of chances. We just have to do something similar and hopefully the ball goes in this time.

In this season’s AFC Champions League the Mariners have scored the first goal against their opponents in each away game. The team will almost certainly need to score first to keep the tie alive so does that statistic perhaps provide assurance that the team is capable of going ahead against some of the best sides in Asia on their home patch?
I think it-s important that we don-t go crazy in the first maybe 20, 30 minutes. As long as we can keep a clean sheet for as long in the game as we can then we know that we-ve got the quality from maybe set pieces, or individual players. If we can get the one goal then hopefully we can make it interesting.

Whatever happens tomorrow night it will be the last game of the season. The players obviously know that there is no pending A-League games or Asian commitments so they can put absolutely everything into the fight…
We set our goals right at the start of the season and this is the game that we wanted to play – we knew that this would be the last game in the last 16. We-ve achieved all of our goals and it would be nice to get one stage further.

Can you put into words how big it would be for the Mariners to overturn the deficit & qualify for the last eight of Asia at the expense of Guangzhou Evergrande?
It would be huge. Playing in the Asian Champions League is massive. For the size of the Club we are we are definitely representing Australia and doing them proud. Hopefully if we get the chances we can put them away.

A small number of Mariners fans have made their way to Guangzhou for the game. It will be nice to see a handful of supporters in the crowd supporting the boys…
Definitely. I think at all the Asian trips there-s been a few people. It-s nice that we can go and interact with them and catch up with them. I don-t think many other teams would be able to do that, and it-s obviously nice as well for the fans to be able to come over.

Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) vs. Central Coast Mariners (AUS) – AFC Champions League Round of 16 (Second-Leg)
Wednesday 22 May, 2013
Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou
Kick-off: 8:00pm (local); 10:00pm (AEST)
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official hashtag for the clash is #GEvCCM
Television: Live and exclusive on Fox Sports 3 & 3HD