‘Players, coaches and fans want big games’ Jacko’s thoughts ahead of Wellington clash

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Mark Jackson spoke to the press on Friday morning, ahead of his side’s huge top-of-the-table clash with Wellington Phoenix on Saturday evening.

Jackson’s side will reclaim top spot with just three games remaining, with a win over Wellington at Industree Group Stadium, so it goes without saying that this is a massive occasion and one that Jacko knows everyone is looking forward to.

“Players want to play in big games, coaches and managers want to manage big games and fans want to see big games. We’ve got one on Saturday and we’ll prepare the best we can.” Jackson said.

We’re looking forward to it and we know what we have to do.

Mark Jackson ahead of Wellington clash.

Fight, quality and winning for our fans 💛

After more than six weeks without a home game in the Isuzu UTE A-League, Jackson’s side returned to a home crowd on Tuesday evening and won in dramatic fashion, scoring late against Melbourne City once again.

“We’re really pleased, we showed character, fight and adaptability as a group to recognise that things weren’t quite working, We found a way to win which is really important at this stage of the season.” Jackson said.

“Of course we would have liked certain things to have worked better but sometimes you have to change and adapt and we did that. The players showed fight and quality, particularly with the late goal, the build up play and the composure in front of goal from Max.”

Balard struck in the 92nd minute, he couldn’t have timed his first ever Isuzu UTE A-League goal any better. Jackson praised Max’s diligence on the training pitch and says he will continue to try and score goals.

“Goalscoring is one of the elements of his game that he wants to improve. We’re delighted for him, it was a good moment.” Jackson said.

“It was a great atmosphere on Tuesday and great that we could get the win right at the end for the fans.”

I can’t speak highly enough of [our fans], they support the team through the ups and downs. Our goal as a group is to give them moments to enjoy.

Mark Jackson on the Mariners Family.

“It’s great to be at home, hopefully they can come in their numbers again. We need their support.” Jacko added.

Previous meeting and praise for Italiano 🧠

The previous meeting between the two sides on February 6th saw a tactical battle between Jackson and Giancarlo Italiano end goalless, as the two best defences in the league came out on top on the day.

Jacko was complimentary of his managerial counterpart after the game and has reinforced that ahead of the rematch in Gosford this Saturday.

“He’s doing really well, they’ve got a fantastic team. We have to be mindful of what they do and what they’ve achieved so far this season. They’ve got players who are a real attacking threat and they have a structure that is really hard to break down because they understand their roles and responsibilities. You can see the work that [Italiano] has done with them.”

“That’s the challenge we have, but it’s a challenge we want to rise to. It’s made us think this week as staff of what we are going to do to achieve a positive result.”