Simon praises Stajcic’s structure & standards


Three matches into the Caretaker period of Alen Stajcic, the Mariners are now faced with a three-game run home against Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City & the Western Sydney Wanderers. Skipper, Matt Simon says a lift in structure and standards puts them in good stead for a strong finish.

Stajcic’s tenure started with a bang, thanks to a dramatic 3-2 win over the Newcastle Jets and Club Captain Matt Simon spoke highly of the structure and high standards that the new ‘gaffer’ has instilled at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence.

After serving a two-week-suspension, which coincided with a back injury, Simon made his return to the starting line up on Sunday against the table-topping Perth Glory.

Heading into Sunday’s away fixture against Melbourne Victory, Simon says the Yellow & Navy’s focus is to chase down Brisbane Roar on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

Reflection on the Perth match…
“As the gaffer said, there are positives that we can take from it,” Simon said. “At the end of the day it’s a 3-0 loss which is disappointing, we just have to look at the positives, work hard at training and keep working on what we have been in the last three weeks under ‘Staj’ and we’re all looking forward to the Melbourne Victory match.

“They are top  of the league for a reason, they are a quality side with some great individual players. We played well in patches but we’re disappointed with the result, we move on and our focus is now firmly on Sunday night against Melbourne.

Life under Alen Stajcic…
“I think everyone can see that we are a lot more structured, more disciplined in defence. Ever since ‘Staj’ took charge there has been a lift in the standard of training, it’s been very high – he’s huge on accountability and the boys have enjoyed it so far. We look forward to every game because we know we can make a good account of ourselves.

“Alen is big on setting high standards and professionalism, that’s what you want as a player. He drives training every day, he is always barking orders and that’s a great way to get the best out of your players.

Our opponents, Melbourne Victory…
“Melbourne are a good side as well, Champions from last year and these are the sorts of games in the past that this club loved going down and playing. Backs against the wall, showing everyone that we can come out on top when we need to. We’re five points away from Brisbane and that’s our focus right now, catching Brisbane before the end of the season.

“We take every game on its merit, they’ve got some quality players in the front third and we’re going to have to be on our toes. The staff have implemented a good game plan and it’s up to us as players to come away with the result.  

Victory bouncing back from mid-week Champions League duties…
“We’ve done that travel a few times with the Champions League and it can be very difficult. You fly straight out after a game, play there, stay in a hotel, fly back and maybe only get one or two sessions in. Fatigue does set in so it’s up to us to keep a high-tempo to the game and try and catch them,” Simon said.

Match Details
Hyundai A-League Round 24

Sunday, 14 April 2019
Match: Melbourne Victory vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEST)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #MVCvCCM & #CCMFC