Staj on Round 12: Quality the difference in key moments


The Mariners battled tough opponents in even tougher weather conditions at Central Coast Stadium on New Year’s Eve, but despite the disappointing result, Alen Stajcic can see plenty of positives in his team’s performance against Perth Glory.

“I thought the players executed it perfectly – the game plan – really well.” Stajcic said.

“There were some good moments for our team.”

“I thought we were well worth our position in the game and in the contest, and we put up a good fight, but we didn’t have enough quality to unlock their defence and I think that was the difference today.”

The final score was certainly not reflective of the contest the Yellow and Navy put up against Perth. The Mariners maintained the majority of possession throughout the game, but Stajcic’s team couldn’t capitalise on their opportunities like Glory did, and that finesse in attacking moments was the edge that carried the visitors to victory.

“I don’t think we lack concentration at all, we had as many shots at they did, as many chances as they did, we had more possession than them but their quality at 40% was better than ours with 60%.”  Stajcic said.

“Castro scores from the edge of the box where we had several free kicks and corners where we could have done the same.” he said.

“I don’t think there was too much difference between the teams today, but in the crucial moments they had that little more quality.”

“I’m happy with the way the boys played and their effort, but we will certainly have to work on improving our quality in the front half to be a little more penetrative and creative for a few more quality chances.” he said.

Stajcic and his squad will have a tight timeframe to execute those improvements, as their clash with Wellington is only days away. A trip across the Tasman is daunting in any circumstances, but the boys will have to dig deep to take on a second game with only a four-day turnaround, against a Phoenix squad who are gaining momentum up the ladder.  

“We’ve got a tough run, Perth then Wellington, who along with Sydney, are three of the most in form teams in the league at the moment” said Stajcic.

“We put in some good performances; the New Year’s Eve result probably didn’t reflect that but I’m happy with how we are progressing.”

The Mariners’ sights are now set firmly on the Phonix, and Stajcic’s squad will take confidence from their Tuesday efforts to Sky Stadium on Saturday.

“I’m really happy with the squad we’ve got.” Stajcic said.

“We are progressing, and like I’ve been saying for a couple of weeks, we’ve laid a really good platform.”

“I thought we matched [Perth] in a lot of aspects, so there’s confidence to take away there.”

“I now know we can compete against a Sydney or a Perth, which means we can take on anyone.”

After the Phoenix, the Mariners return home to Central Coast Stadium on January 12th to take on Melbourne Victory! Get your tickets now, and remember Kids go Free with an adult ticket!