Stajcic: We want to finish the job

Oliver Bozanic takes on Joey Champness of the Roar

Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic praised his side for their performance in Wednesday’s goalless draw against Brisbane and backed his team to ‘finish the job’ this season despite recent frustrations in front of goal.

The visitors controlled large parts of the match, but lacked a finishing touch up front as chances went unfinished on a soggy pitch, something that Stajcic rued post-match speaking to Fox Sports.

“Obviously, we all want a result and it’s a results-based industry, but some of our performances have been good, some of our draws against Sydney and Wanders,” he said.

“Even today and they are all should haves and could haves, but we really need that polish and cutting edge.

“But in terms of process and the way we are playing I’m still pleased, but I’m aware how much harder we need to work to get results into the back end of the season.”

Stajcic revealed early in the season that he and the team had set their goal of qualifying for the Asian Champions League, and he reiterated that on Wednesday night and backed his group of players to accomplish it.

“We are aiming for the top two,” he responded when asked if he would just be content with making top six.

“We have been first or second the whole season, we were first up until round 16 and now in games 21/22, we are still second.

“It’s been an amazing accomplishment for these players to keep us up the top of the ladder for so long and no doubt we want to finish the job off.”

The Mariners will take on Newcastle on Saturday in the 52nd #F3Derby at McDonald Jones Stadium, and Staj reinforced the fact that no side, including the Jets, can be taken lightly as the campaign enters the home stretch.

“I’m just confident that we’ll put in a good performance, after that the rest will take care of itself,” he said.

“Victory, Newcastle, they might be down the bottom but they’re not easy games. Newcastle could have snatched the winner against Sydney last week in the last couple of minutes.”

“I don’t go there underestimating anyone, we know how hard this league is, it’s so tough.

“We’ve only won one in the last whatever but if you have a look through the whole league, most of the league has done that.”

“Most of the middle teams have had one or two wins in the last seven or eight games because it’s just so tight, so tough and every three points is precious.”

“I am confident we can win but the thing I’m most confident about is that we’ll see 100% effort from the team.”