Fox determined to make starting spot his own

After a tough break and plenty of work to stay fit for a return to training, Dylan Fox regained his spot in the starting side against Perth Glory on Saturday night.

The 26-year old lined up alongside Kye Rowles at the back at Central Coast Stadium and said it was great to just be back out on the pitch with the Mariners.

“It’s very good to be back involved with the team and obviously after that long break it’s just such a good feeling to be back out there with the boys,” he said on Tuesday.

“Although the result didn’t go our way it was still good to be back out there and now we refocus for Friday against the Jets.”

Fox returned from the extended coronavirus break with a point to prove having not started since the first half of the season, and said he pushed hard over the season postponement to put himself back in contention.

“It was obviously tough for everyone to keep fit in the break, and every day it was a grind, doing things but everyone was in the same position,” he said.

“I knew coming back in I had to be fit, had to be ready to prove myself to Staj and I want to be a part of this team and the starting XI and I’m really happy to have started on the weekend and I hope I did enough to secure a spot for Friday against the Jets.”

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Fox performed strongly at the back, making 46 passes at above 91% accuracy throughout the match, winning three of his five duels and making three clearances and two interceptions.

Attentions for the Mariners now turn to a busy weekend, with Friday’s F3 Derby match with the Jets followed closely by a two-day turnaround to face Western Sydney Wanderers on Monday night on the Coast.

Fox said on Tuesday that the turnaround will be a tough ask, but one that is being experienced by the whole competition at the moment, and they’ve learnt from Saturday’s game.

“Look I don’t think we started well in the first half, the second half we kind of got into the game a bit more, but on Friday against the jets we’ve just got to start better,” he said.

“I feel like everyone was a bit flat, and things just weren’t moving as quick as they should have at the start and that’s something we need to work on this week and make sure we come out of the blocks firing on Friday.

That [turnaround] is going to be tough.”

“But every team is doing that at the moment with quick turnarounds and physically we’ve just got to manage that.”

“That’s for the strength and conditioning staff to manage and the rest is the tactical side of things, as soon as that [first] game is done we’ll focus on the next one and that’s all we can do because every team is in the same boat."

Despite the result on Saturday the young defender enjoyed the experience of being back at Central Coast Stadium and said the team are itching to do it again this weekend.

“It was really good to be back out there,” he said.

“You see in the Premier League they’re not playing in front of fans yet so to be able to go out there and play in front of the home fans is good and on Friday, hopefully we give them some reward with a win because I know how much it means to them for us to beat the Jets.”