Arnold: We must control Aloisi’s “axe”

CENTRAL Coast Mariners tactician Graham Arnold believes nullifying Melbourne Heart’s “axe” is crucial to his sides hopes of securing three points at AAMI Park on Sunday.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners tactician Graham Arnold believes nullifying Melbourne Heart-s “axe” is crucial to his sides hopes of securing three points at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Arnold has identified the strong, experienced spine of the Heart side as the key to Melbourne-s capacity to trouble his well-oiled Mariners unit.

“He (Heart Coach John Aloisi) has got them very well organised,” Arnold said. “He-s got some pace up front with (Mate) Dugandzic and David Williams, and a very experienced midfield in Fred, (Richard) Garcia and Matty Thompson.”

“Their strength is down the axe of the team and a few speedsters out wide, so we-ve definitely got to be on our game,” he said.

Adding to Melbourne Heart-s core group is wily gloveman Clint Bolton, as well as burly marksman and former Central Coast Mariner Dylan Macallister up top.

But with a fighting fit Mariners squad at his disposal and a good week on the training paddock, Arnold said he expects his side to put in a polished performance at pristine AAMI Park.

“We-ve got 22 players to choose from which is great,” he said. “Everyone-s healthy and rearing to go.”

“Unfortunately I am going to have to disappoint a number of players again this weekend but it-s always good to have competition for places, it helps and breeds a healthy environment.”

“The tough decisions will be made tomorrow.”

“It a beautiful stadium to play at AAMI, the surface is great and I think every time you walk onto the pitch it gives the players a lot of confidence and a lot of excitement.”

“Melbourne Heart have been doing well, it-s going to be a very tough game.”

“(But) our record away from home is quite good, so we-ll be looking to make sure we continue that on the weekend,” Arnold concluded.

Central Coast Mariners possess a strong record against Melbourne Heart having only lost once against the red and whites in all meetings. Indeed, the two clubs have faced off six times, with the Mariners winning four times.

And, Central Coast striker Daniel McBreen will be keen for minutes against the men from Melbourne. The marksman has netted three of his eight Hyundai A-League goals for the Mariners against Heart.

Melbourne Heart vs. Central Coast Mariners Sunday 28 October - Kick-off: 3:00pm (local) AAMI Park, Melbourne Twitter: Follow LIVE match updates via the Central Coast Mariners official Twitter handle.