Arnold calls for “95 minutes” of consistency

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold believes that concentration and consistency from whistle to whistle will be what is required for the Yellow and Navy to extend its advantage over Adelaide United in second spot to four points, when the two sides clash in a Hyundai A-League blockbuster at Hindmarsh Stadium tomorrow night.

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold believes that concentration and consistency from whistle to whistle will be what is required for the Yellow and Navy to extend its advantage over Adelaide United in second spot to four points, when the two sides clash in a Hyundai A-League blockbuster at Hindmarsh Stadium tomorrow night.

In arguably the biggest match of the season, the Mariners and Reds do battle in a genuine “six-pointer”, with victory sure to go a long way to securing the coveted second place on the ladder, but Arnold insists tomorrow-s clash isn-t quite season defining.

“There are plenty of big games ahead, and this is just one of our big games,” Arnold said.

“We have done extremely well to be one point ahead of Adelaide with four games to go. They are the home team but our away form has been very good, we have only lost two games away from home, and the last one was four months ago against Brisbane.

“We will go to Hindmarsh, which is a wonderful Stadium, there will be full house, and it will be a game that the players will enjoy to play in.”

Tomorrow night marks the first of three games on the road for the Mariners in the space of a little over a week, but Arnold has dismissed any suggestions that schedule could have an effect on the charge to the finish line.

“That-s the way it is. We had five home games over Christmas but we all play 15 at home and 15 away.

“We-ll get ready for tomorrow night and as I have said to the boys it doesn-t matter where we play, we will always play the same at home or away.

“The big thing for me tomorrow night is 95 minutes - not 90 - 95 minutes of consistency and concentration. When you play against the top teams like Adelaide and Brisbane you can-t afford to have lapses. We all know against Sydney last week that the first 45 minutes wasn-t a great performance but the second half is the kind of performance we expect. Tomorrow night the key message will be consistency for 95 minutes,” said Arnold.

Whilst conceding Brisbane has a grip on the Premier-s Plate, Arnold says three points in the City of Churches will force Ange Postecoglou-s table-topping side to continue to look over its shoulder.

“You would like to put a bit of pressure on Brisbane but they are nearly home and hosed, but the only thing we can worry about is ourselves. We don-t look at the other teams, the first thing for us is Adelaide tomorrow night, we have had a bit of success against them this year, with a 1-all draw at home and then a 2-nil win on Boxing Day, so we will go into the game very confident,” said Arnold.

While Adelaide will be reeling at the news boom youngster Fabian Barbiero is out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury, Arnold-s own casualty ward has diminished this week, with Joshua Rose recovering from a stomach bug which kept him bed ridden as the Mariners drew 2-all with Sydney FC last Sunday.

“Rosey has been very good for us this year. We like our fullbacks to attack and for me Rosey is probably the best left-back in the League. He has scored three goals and has probably half a dozen assists so it-s great to have him back, and we look forward to a strong game from him tomorrow night,” said Arnold.

Rose will be reacquainted with the rest of his defensive counterparts tomorrow night, a unit hailed by many as the most impressive at the back Hyundai A-League wide, and Arnold admits it will be a stern test trying to keep a forward line which has bagged 12 goals in two games at bay tomorrow.

“In a lot of peoples opinions they have the best front four in the league in Van Dijk, Flores, Ramsay and Travis Dodd who can control games and score goals, but I-m confident that our back five - the back four and a holding midfielder - can do a job on them.

“Then it gets down to what we have done well this year, we have scored the third highest amount of goals in the League this season and we have players like Matt Simon who is in very good form and has scored 11 goals so far this season, Adam Kwasnik has eight and Daniel McBreen and Perez have been on the score sheet recently as well, so our confidence will be high and we will go down to Adelaide, give it our best shot and really take it to them,” said Arnold.

The Central Coast Mariners next match of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season will be against Adelaide United this Saturday, 29 January at Hindmarsh Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:00pm CST (7:30pm AEDT).

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 3 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partners are 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford) and 891 ABC Adelaide. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au .

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 18): Central Coast Mariners wins 6, Adelaide wins 6 (6 draws)

Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Iain FYFE, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Dario BODRUSIC, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR, 22.Osama MALIK *three to be omitted*

In: Lucas PANTELIS (promoted), Dario BODRUSIC (new signing), Osama MALIK (new signing) Out: Nil Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee - season), Joe COSTA (knee - season), Joe KEENAN (leg - season), Fabian BARBIERO (ankle - season), Andy SLORY (thigh - 1 week)

Central Coast Mariners: 2. Daniel McBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11.Oliver BOZANIC, 13. Michael BAIRD, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 30. Paul HENDERSON.?*three to be omitted* ? In: Josh ROSE (returns from illness), Michael BAIRD (promoted), Chris DOIG (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Brad PORTER (knee - 6 weeks), Nik MRDJA (knee - 6 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee - season)

Referee: Strebre Delovski