Arnold insists Mariners are ready to Roar

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold says his team is ready to take on the first placed Brisbane Roar side in the Hyundai A-League Week 22 midweek blockbuster on Wednesday evening at Bluetongue Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold says his team is ready to take on the first placed Brisbane Roar side in the Hyundai A-League Week 22 midweek blockbuster on Wednesday evening at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Mariners will move further ahead of Gold Coast United and narrow the gap between the top two to just a point with two games in hand, if they can steal all three points tomorrow against Ange Postecoglou-s men.

“We are eyeing off second spot,” said Arnold.

“Our goal at the start of the year was to get in the top six. We have changed our goals. Top four to have a home final is our new goal, as well as chasing the top two.

“I think that we are in a good position at the moment. Tomorrow night is going to be a very difficult game against a team that is without a doubt been the standout team of the season and is well coached by Ange Postecoglou so it-s going to be a big challenge for us. I know that revenge is on the minds of our players after what happened last time. I-m looking forward to a good performance,” said Arnold.

The Yellow and Navy are keen to put their previous two results against the Roar this season behind them and Arnold believes they carry the advantage this time around.

The Mariners succumbed 2-nil at Suncorp Stadium back in October before being on the wrong end of a 5-1 loss to a rampant Roar at the peak of their form in late November, and Arnold says the timing of that match conspired against his men.

“We had five games in fourteen days. We had a lot of travel. It was our first game back on the coast. The fatigue set in. We are alright this time; we haven-t had to do the travel. We are heading into a busy program now. So if anything it-s reversed,” said Arnold.

The Mariners are not worried about their travelling opponents but are instead focused on their own performance as they search for another win at home.

“We are just focused on ourselves, we know Brisbane are a good side. They have great movement on and off the ball. If you focus too much on them you can lose way of your own performance. For me, right through the whole season, the most important thing has been our structure, our performances and ourselves.

“I looked at the table last night and very proudly looked at where we are sitting. But what was surprising was that out of all the teams in the league this year, we have scored the most goals at home than any other team in the league this year, even more than Brisbane. It shows we are doing something right here at Bluetongue. We-re at home so we have to take that with confidence into the game,” Arnold said.

The Mariners are unlikely to tinker too much with the side which proved victorious against Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, with possibly the return of Adam Kwasnik from suspension the only potential change.

The Central Coast Mariners next match of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season will be against Brisbane Roar this Wednesday, 12 January at Bluetongue Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:30pm AEDT and tickets are available by CLICKING HERE or by phoning 132 849.

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 2, FS2 HD & Sky Sport 2 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford).

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 19): Central Coast Mariners wins 3, Brisbane Roar wins 10 (6 draws)

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 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, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk). *two to be omitted*??

In: Adam KWASNIK (return from suspension), Chris DOIG (promoted). Out: Nil? Unavailable: Brad PORTER (knee - 8 weeks), Nik MRDJA (knee - 8 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee - season).

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Shane STEFANUTTO, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK.

In: Rocky VISCONTE (promoted)? Out: HENRIQUE (groin strain - 2 weeks)? Unavailable: Ivan FRANJIC (quad - 1 week), Matt McKAY (international duty - 4 weeks)

Referee: Peter Green