Preview: Mariners v City


After a heartbreaking end to the Central Coast Mariners’ trip to Wellington, the Yellow & Navy host Melbourne City at Central Coast Stadium on Wednesday evening. Kick-off is 7:50pm.

Whilst Mike Mulvey has the opportunity to bolster his squad with Aiden O’Neill (returning from suspension), he will be without Kye Rowles who serves a one-week-suspension. This will be the first match of the season missed by Rowles.

Melbourne City will be without central defender Harrison Delbridge who also serves a one week suspension.

This fixture is the first of back-to-back home games for the Mariners who will be back in action at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday against Brisbane Roar. Fronting media on Friday, Mulvey also hinted of the likelihood that his squad will strengthen during January.

Mulvey in the media

Message to the players…
We’ve got to keep going. I said this after the Wellington game, someone will want to commit me to a home because I said against Sydney we were the better team for 25 minutes, we didn’t give ‘em a sniff and we did the same thing with Wellington in the first half. But then you go from that to what happened in the second half. It can crush your spirit if you’re not able to overlook it and get on with the next thing. Any success you have in life is more important if you’ve overcome some obstacles along the way and we’ve had a lot of obstacles at the moment so we keep on going.

Is there a discipline problem?
“No I don’t think there is a discipline problem at all. Cisse’s was not good , it was not acceptable and it was borne of frustration more than anything else. With Kye Rowles, he’s been one of our stand out players through-out the season. We got caught out in that first minute, if you actually watch the incident we looked like we were about to score the third goal from the kick off. Tommy Oar got in behind and tried to square up to Matt Simon. Fantastic defending from Steven Taylor, not many people would have read that, he’s played in the Premier League so that explains that. Then we just got disjointed, we weren’t protecting against our vulnerabilities which is when most people are vulnerable when you’ve got the ball and are attacking. We need people who are aware of what’s going on and Kye got caught isolated with Krishna, he did ever so well to get back to him and he just come underneath him in the end and clipped his legs. I wasn’t sure if it was a send-off but it happened and there is no discipline problem. It was a fantastic recovery run, we just got caught out on something we should not have got caught out on.

Lifting the player’s spirits…
“Yeah, I think that’s part of the manager’s job to keep quality in the joint basically, to make sure we don’t drop standards and at times we’ve all dropped standards this season, myself included. We are on a journey and that journey at the moment is very unpleasant at times but what I said to the players two and a half/three weeks ago was I need to look at how I can help them other than the training we are doing and that was to ensure we could bring in some extra bodies through the January transfer window and that is going to happen. You can’t rush to do it all in one go, but we’re trying to bring a couple of bodies in that’s going to help the lads to get over the line. Because January is a very busy month, we’ve got a game tomorrow then Sunday and I genuinely believe we can climb up the table, we do believe that, we just need a couple of extra bodies, a bit more quality and I’m sure given the performances in the first half against Sydney and Wellington the win is not too far around the corner.

Breaking the losing streak…
“Look, stats and records are for history and history is behind you. I’m looking forward to what’s going to happen in the future, I just said about bringing in new players and my focus now is the City game and helping these guys. These guys are giving everything in every game, every training session. It’s not a pretty sight at times, we have our disagreements about certain things and that’s normal in a football team when things aren’t going right. We are trying to find that solution and I said my solution for these guys is to bring in some extra players that is going to help them. We played Wellington on the weekend and played them off the park, they came back in the second half and I can’t give enough credit to the guys for their effort and application on the field and you saw that last week against wellington.

Breaking City’s defence…
“You’ve got to get in behind them early if you can because they get a low block and they defend very deep. They’ve got a couple of very good centre halves, so they are well drilled, well organised but they are not unbeatable. They’ve got confidence, a lot of young lads as well, Luke Brattan who’s a very good player, pulls the strings and Baccus who’s come in and given them stability in front of the back four. They are playing with Richie De Laet as an out and out striker, he was that type of player early on in England but he’s normally a fullback so they are mixing and changing it. We’ve gotta be on the front foot and have a go at them.

“I think the most important thing is you look into the mirror all the time to find out how you go in and how honest with yourself so all I can say is that I and my staff are working diligently to turn this around. As was mentioned before, we are trying to keep the heads up and keep the faith for the fans as well. It’s not easy for Central Coast fans at the moment because they are hurting, and they’ve been hurting for 4-5 years. If I could just ask them to stick with us right now, the guys are giving everything. As a fan growing up in England, if your team is giving everything and you can see that then yeah, you’re disappointed but you’re not gonna have too much of a go at people. But it’s not about me, it’s about the club and that’s the main focus. And what I can tell you from the owner down is that we are diligently trying to work on how to improve the club in the long term as well as the short term,” Mulvey said

Squad lists

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITS, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Jake McGING, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 13.Aiden O’NEILL, 16.Josh MACDONALD, 18.Matt MILLAR, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Mario SHABOW, 25.Jordan MURRAY, 26.Joshua NISBET
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 13.Aiden O’NEILL (return from suspension), 16.Josh MACDONALD (promoted), 26.Joshua NISBET (promoted)

Outs: 15.Kye ROWLES (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 21.Corey GAMEIRO (calf)

Melbourne City FC squad: 2.Ritchie De LAET, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley MCGREE, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 19.Lachlan WALES, 21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 22.Curtis GOOD, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 34.Connor METCALFE, 36.Dylan PIERIAS, 40.James DELIANOV
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER (returns from injury), 34.Connor METCALFE (promoted), 36.Dylan PIERIAS (promoted)

Outs: 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: nil

Opta Stat Attack

  • The Mariners are winless in their last 10 encounters with Melbourne City but have scored in all but two of those fixtures
  • Melbourne City have not tasted defeat in their last five games against the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium (W2 D3), scoring a goal in each half on all but one occasion when they failed to find the net in the first half in their last visit here
  • The Mariners have lost their last four games at Central Coast Stadium; they have never lost five in a row at the venue.
  • Melbourne City are currently enjoying a three-match winning streak; the last time they won more in succession was a four-game streak to open last season
  • The Mariners and Melbourne City have each scored just 10 goals from inside the box this season, fewer than any other team. However, City have scored a league-high five goals from outside the box.
  • The Mariners have made just 17 touches in the opposition box per game this season, fewer than any other team in the comp
  • Connor Pain has a shooting accuracy of 71%, the second most of any player in the comp (minimum 20 shots).
  • Eugene Galekovic has a save percentage of 75.6% this season, the best of any keeper.

Match Details
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne City FC
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvMCY & #CCMFC