Stajcic proud of the fight despite result in Melbourne

Lewis Miller duels with Jamie Maclaren

Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic praised his team for their performance in Saturday’s loss at AAMI Park, saying he was ‘proud’ of the playing group for their response to going behind and fighting back to nearly grab a share of the points against Melbourne City.

Oli Bozanic was set to take a spot kick to level the game, only for the VAR to intervene with the original decision that Mark Birighitti was hauled down overturned, but Staj would not be drawn into commenting, preferring instead to highlight the game itself.

“I don’t want to talk about the decisions,” he said.

“Let’s talk about the game. We have to live with it, we lost 1-0. Congratulations to them [City], they’ve had a fantastic year. “

“Congratulations to Paddy and the whole playing group, they deserve their title. We can’t talk about the refereeing decisions because we don’t control those, we control the performance.”

“It was a good game. Melbourne City were on top for large periods but I thought we came back really well and had some chances there to equalise.”

“And I’m really proud of our playing group, the resilience they showed to come back and fight and even in spite of some of those decisions they had the resilience to want to fight until the end and that’s pleasing.”

The result leaves the Mariners in third spot with 23 matches played, with clashes against Macarthur, Newcastle and Western United to come inside the final fortnight of the league.

The chasing pack continues to grow with nine teams still capable of making the remaining five finals spots, but Stajcic said that his focus extends only as far as Thursday’s meeting with the Bulls.

“It’s very tight isn’t it, anyone can beat anyone and everyone still has to play everyone,” he said referring to the run-in fixtures.

“But to be honest between now and the next game I’m just focused on Macarthur. If you’re going to worry about what number you need, we just need to focus on that match.”

“It’s a difficult game, and we’re just worrying about winning that game. We need to win as many games as we can.”

Game Details |

Macarthur FC v Central Coast Mariners

Thursday, 27th May – 7:05pm

Campbelltown Sports Stadium

Book your spot on the bus!