Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic praised his side after Sunday’s win against Adelaide United, and noted the importance of every victory as his side looks to climb up the table.
Stajcic’s side scored two goals in a row for the first time this season when Kye Rowles and then Milan Ðurić netted in the first half, and post-match the boss said it was a big boost for confidence.
“Tonight is the first time this year we’ve scored two goals in a row and won two successive home games so even little things like that are super important for the team, it’s good for belief and confidence,” he said.
“The pleasing part [of today’s performance] was that we held on and gave them very few clear cut chances but the disappointing part was that we didn’t put the game to bed.”
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) December 23, 2019
“Especially on the counter attack we had a few opportunities to put the game to bed and we stopped playing a little bit but that’s something that will come with confidence as we grow as a team and start to believe that we can keep playing for 90 minutes and can keep control in the game.”
New signing Jair linked up well with Jordan Murray in a new-look attack and the combination play with the midfield was clinical as the Mariners played one of their best halves of football in the first 45, but Stajcic said that fans can expect even more out of the Brazilian in coming weeks.
“For someone who hasn’t played for 8 months, you know its only his second game in 8 months, you can only expect him to get better and better and we saw his quality on the ball tonight.”
“He is sharp, he is mobile and as I just said he has so much room to get better each week.”
“I still think in the next two, three, four weeks we are going to see an upward trajectory in sharpness and touch.”
With two byes already in the bank and momentum building, a strong run of form could land the Mariners in the top six heading into the second half of the season.
For Stajcic, the next goal is to see off the Glory on New Year’s Eve, and string together consecutive victories for the first time since December 2017, a streak which included a 1-0 win over the team from the West.
“[Tonight] pushes us up the ladder a little bit more, our next goal is to win two in a row – one more win and we are on the verge of the top six with some games in hand, he said.”
“We are moving into that realm of competing against Sydney and Adelaide who are well up on the ladder so for me with games in hand there is no reason we cannot be a contender.”