Paul Okon Previews Mariners vs. Phoenix


Tonight, the Central Coast Mariners host Wellington Phoenix in a high stakes battle at Central Coast Stadium. Kick-off is 7:50pm.

Ahead Hyundai A-League round 21, we caught up with Head Coach Paul Okon who previewed the match.

Don’t forget, you can bring your team tonight for just $10 per person. By purchasing a team ticket, you will go in the draw to win $500 for your team kitty to kick-off the local season!

If you wear your local club colours for #FullKitFriday you also have the chance to win in the stands tonight!

Paolo in the Press

“Every game for us is an opportunity to get a win,” Okon said. “It’s not because we’re playing Wellington who are level or below us. They are a team that have had some good results of late and have brought in some good players. Ljujic, Nathan Burns and of course Roy Krishna is back so we’re preparing to play a Wellington team that’s got very dangerous players, not a team that’s bottom of the ladder. We know what we need to do to win.

“Team morale is good; the only pressure comes from within yourself and what you expect. We all know that the outcomes need to be better, but at no stage is there a lack of belief or a lack of will to work.

“I’m quite confident that tomorrow night we will have plenty of energy and hopefully we can send the supporters home with three points.

“At his time of the year it’s great to have everyone to choose from. Having Wout [Brama] and Antony [Golec] will give us a boost.

“It’s easy for us to say to the fans, keep coming and supporting us. The fans want a win and that’s no different to the players and the staff. It’s certainly not through a lack of desire or work ethic. The last two weeks we’ve worked the hardest, apart from pre-season, so we’re pushing as hard as we can.

“There are still 21 points to play for and in football you never know. Hopefully a win on Friday can start a good run of games,” Okon said.

Opta Stat Attack

  • Each of Wellington’s last 22 games on a Friday has seen one side come away with all three points; the Phoenix have won 10 of their last 16 such games.
  • Wellington Phoenix have averaged a competition-low share of possession this season (45%), they go up against the Mariners who have averaged 54% this term; a season-high.
  • Central Coast Mariners have conceded 28% (8/29) of their goals from the 76th minute onwards this season; a league-high share.
  • Matthew Ridenton has hit the woodwork on three occasions this season; no player has done so more often.
  • Andrija Kaluderovic has converted only 20% of the big chances that have fallen his way (2/10); the lowest rate of any player (5+ big chances).

Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Blake POWELL, 10.Danny De SILVA, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 15.Alan BARO (c) 16.Liam ROSE, 18.Tom GLOVER (gk), 19.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Wout BRAMA 24.Lachlan WALES, 27.Peter SKAPETIS
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Antony GOLEC (return from suspension), 23.Wout BRAMA (return from suspension), 24.Lachlan WALES (promoted)

Outs: 3.Josh ROSE (not selected)

Unavailable: nil

Wellington Phoenix squad: 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Goran PARACKI, 6.Dylan FOX, 7.Nathan BURNS, 8.Matija LJUJIC, 9.Andrija KALUDJEROVIC 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 17.Monty PATTERSON, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 19.Tom DOYLE, 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Logan ROGERSON, 30.Keegan SMITH (Gk), 40.Tando VELAPHI (Gk)
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 4.Goran PARACKI (returns from injury) 13.Marco ROSSI (promoted), 24.Logan ROGERSON (promoted)

Outs: 26.Liberato CACACE (omitted)

Unavailable: 2.Daniel MULLEN (knee – end of season)

Match Details
Friday, 23 February 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 21
Central Coast Mariners vs. Wellington Phoenix
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEDT)
Team Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast:
Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvWEL & #CCMFC