Arnold aims for three points against 'strong' Seongnam

CENTRAL Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold believes the equation is simple when it comes to working out what his team needs to emerge from a tightly contested Group G of the 2012 AFC Champions League.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold believes the equation is simple when it comes to working out what his team needs to emerge from a tightly contested Group G of the 2012 AFC Champions League.

At Monday-s official pre-match press conference, Arnold said he thinks two wins from three home matches, combined with a couple of away draws will be enough to see his team secure a place in the knock-out stages of Asia-s premier club competition.

“It-s a very tight group,” Arnold said. “It-s important we try to win our home games starting with tomorrow night.”

“Away games are tough. My thoughts have always been that you-ve got to win two out of your three home games and try and pinch a couple of draws away from home.”

Having already secured draws against China-s Tianjin Teda (away) and Japan-s Nagoya Grampus (home), Tuesday-s match at Central Coast Stadium against the K-League-s Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma provides the opportunity for Arnold-s team to substantially enhance their chances of emerging from the section should they triumph.

Indeed, with all four teams in Group G locked on two points after two games, a win could see the Mariners on top of the Group as Nagoya face the difficult prospect of securing maximum points at the Tianjin Teda Football Stadium in China the same night.

But Arnold knows it will be no easy task, with Seongnam possessing both class on the pitch and a long, proud history.

“From what I-ve seen on DVD especially, they-re getting stronger,” he said. “Obviously the competition has just started over there, they-re getting stronger by the game so we-re expecting a very very tough game tomorrow night.”

“I have watched both of their AFC Champions League games as well as a (K-League) round. (They have) two very good Brazilians in Hevertinho and Everton Santos, and a very good striker in Jovancic up front.”

“It-s only two years ago that they won the Champions League title, so they-re a very very good side and they-ve got a great history that goes with them. I-ve had enough experience with my work with the national team to know how strong South Korea football is and also how strong South Korean club football is.”

Meanwhile, Mariners midfield general John Hutchinson said the team was extremely up and excited for the clash despite having played just two days ago against Brisbane Roar in the first leg of the Hyundai A-League major semi-final.

“It-s another tough challenge for us as a club,” Hutchinson said.

“We only played a couple of days ago and we had to travel back from Brisbane … but I-m looking forward to the game personally and I want to play.

“As a footballer you want to play in these big games. It-s the highest club level that we can get and I know all the players want to play in it.”

Central Coast Mariners vs. Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma Tuesday 3 April, 2012 - 7:00pm kick-off Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Tickets: Please click here to purchase tickets to the match. Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag is #ACLccmseo