Familiar foe, same result hopes Mariners

It’s been just 33 days since the Central Coast Mariners faced off against North Queensland Fury, and after a last ditch 3-2 victory on that occasion at Bluetongue Stadium, the match-winning goalscorer Patrick Zwaanswijk, believes the Mariners are on target to repeat the dose.

It-s been just 33 days since the Central Coast Mariners faced off against North Queensland Fury, and after a last ditch 3-2 victory on that occasion at Bluetongue Stadium, the match-winning goalscorer Patrick Zwaanswijk, believes the Mariners are on target to repeat the dose.

The big Dutch defender admits his side left it a little late to steal all three points back on October 2.

“92nd minute and 28 seconds!” laughed Zwaanswijk.

“We should have won it easier but in the end we got the three points, and all the supporters came on the pitch so it was a good memory but in the end it was only three points.

“The 5-nil win over Perth (last Saturday) also gave us real good confidence in how we can play the game, but it-s still only three points. We have to take a long road trip, a three-hour flight to bring the three points back to Gosford.”

Such are the vagaries of the Hyundai A-League draw that the Yellow and Navy will have already met the Fury twice this season after tomorrow night, but it-s not an issue that concerns Zwaanswijk, in fact, he believes his side can use that to their advantage.

“It-s strange, but there are only 11 teams in the competition, so the good thing is we know how they play and because of only having three or four weeks in between we know what our game plan was at home.

“They will probably play a little bit different because there are some players out, and their home ground advantage because of the humidity, so it-s going to be difficult for us but if we can adjust to that and play our own game then with the belief we-ve got after the good result against Perth we-re going to be confident to get a good result,” Zwaanswijk said.

Temperatures in Townsville are expected to hover around 23 degrees at kick-off time, but the sapping humidity of the tropical far north will prove a greater challenge, and despite being more familiar with the cooler climes of the Netherlands, Zwaanswijk believes he has the experience to be able to cope with the oppressive conditions.

“I played in Japan for a year, and sometimes it was 41 degrees when we played during the day so I couldn-t imagine that (back then), but you get used to things and you have to play a little bit different. It-s a little bit of a strategy because it depends on how you go out there, if you get bothered by the humidity then you-re not going to play a good game but if you leave it to your body and see how you go, then you-ll be OK.

We have to adjust to it and not think too much about it, it-s three points, so we-ll just play our game and see where we-re at,” said Zwaanswijk.

Brisbane-s 4-1 demolition of the Wellington Phoenix last night has put further pressure on the top of the table, as they moved in to top place, eight points clear of the Central Coast, although Graham Arnold-s side has three games in hand over the table-toppers, with nine points up for grabs.

“If you want to compete for first place you have to win and it-s possible because they lost last week against the Gold Coast, so we can win there, but as I said we have to compete as a team, think as a team and don-t think too much about the humidity, the difficult conditions, just be confident, play the game to try to get the three points in to narrow the gap,” Zwaanswijk said.

Head-to-Head: All matches (played 4): North Queensland Fury wins 0, Central Coast Mariners wins 2 (2 draws)

Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 & Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is Zinc 100.7 (Townsville) and 96.3 Coast FM (Gosford). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au

North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Brad McDONALD, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 7. Gareth EDDS, 8. Adam CASEY, 9. Eugene SSEPPUYA, 10. Dyron DAAL, 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 13. Andre KILIAN, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 15. Chris PAYNE, 16. Simon STOREY, 17. Osama MALIK, 18. Brett STUDMAN, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 28. Sebastian USAI (gk) *five to be omitted*

In: Adam CASEY (promoted), Panagiotis NIKAS (promoted), Brett Studman (promoted), Isaka CERNAK (returns from injury), Jason SPAGNUOLO (promoted)

Out: Eric Akoto (knee - 6 weeks)

Unavailable: Matthew HAM (knee - season)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 2 Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk) *two to be omitted*

In: John HUTCHINSON (returns from suspension)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: Nik MRDJA (back - indefinite), Brad PORTER (knee - 12 weeks), Jess VANSTRATTAN (knee - season)

Referee: Gerard Parsons