The Goss With Moss

MARINERS Assistant Coach Phil Moss spoke to media before training yesterday ahead of the F3 derby at Hunter Stadium. Here's what he said.

MARINERS Assistant Coach Phil Moss spoke to media before training yesterday ahead of the F3 derby at Hunter Stadium. Here's what he said.

The Mariners have once again flown under the radar this season. The side is undefeated and yet to concede a goal. Thoughts? We are the sort of the club that always tends to fly under the radar because no one gives us a chance at the start of every season. We just go about our business and Arnie (Graham Arnold) has made no secret of the fact that we are a club that looks after our own backyard and makes sure we-re in shape and what happens from there, happens. If we get the process right on the training pitch then things tend to come together on the weekend.

What did you make of Newcastle-s performance against the Sky Blues last weekend? They-re a dangerous side. They have got players that can hurt you. Obviously (Emile) Heskey is the main one, but they-ve got Ryan Griffiths, (Craig) Goodwin on the left-hand side and (James) Virgili on the right side. They-ve got players with experience in the midfield with (Ruben) Zadkovich and (Jobe) Wheelhouse, they are a well-balanced side and Dutchy (Gary van Egmond) has obviously instilled a very high work ethic in them. They like to press and like to get in your face, obviously that will go up a notch because it-s a derby, and there-s a lot at stake for the supporters and three points up for grabs for the two teams.

Looking at the stats and in 12 games there-s been six wins to the Jets and three wins to the Mariners. Any fears heading up the F3? I don-t like to use the word fear but you certainly go into every game respecting the opposition and we have a lot of respect for Newcastle and Dutchy and the coaching staff and how they prepare their team. On the flip side of that, we feel that we-re doing a pretty good job as well. Our players are in tip-top shape, there-s a lot of competition for places and that-s always healthy. We-re going there with confidence and a little more relaxed than we went into last game, because we-ve got the first win of the season and four points from six. We can go up there and express ourselves and do what we do best.

Can we expect to see Michael McGlinchey make his way back into line-up after an impressive performance with the All Whites during the week? Certainly. He scored two goals for New Zealand, which has given him a big boost. You can see the confidence and the enthusiasm in him coming back from every camp especially after scoring two goals and helping his team get that step closer to World Cup qualification. We are delighted to have him back, he looked very sharp in training yesterday and we are expecting him to play a part tonight.

The side is obviously working to a new formation in a 4-2-3-1 this season. Defensively it seems to be working very well but we haven-t seen too many goals. How can this be improved? I wouldn-t say that the creativity is a problem. It-s probably just the final execution in the top third and making sure that we-ve got bodies in the box isn-t really a problem with this system. If you look at it factually, you-ve got four goal scorers out there on the pitch. You-ve got two wingers, a striker and a number 10. It-s about getting the final pass into the area where the runners are and we-ve been working hard on that at training. I-m sure the goals will come. You can see last week, it was a fantastic goal with Daniel McBreen coming off the bench, a great long pass from Trent Sainsbury, a fantastic first touch and a great finish.

You must be impressed with what you have seen from him (Trent Sainsbury) so far this season? He-s been fantastic. He has certainly stepped up into the breach left by Alex Wilkinson and they are pretty big shoes to fill. Trent says he came into the team with a size seven and he was trying to replace a size 15. It-s a pretty good analogy. He-s stepped up and matured, he-s really gone from being a boy to a man in the last 12 months and we are just looking for consistency from him. We don-t want outstanding one week and poor the next, we just want consistent performances and so far he-s delivering.

Finally, what does the F3 derby mean to you? Without putting a dampener on the derby, it means to me three points. That-s all that matters to me as a coach and I-m sure Arnie as well. For the supporters, it-s fantastic. It-s a great atmosphere, it-s been the highlight of my time here. There-s that extra-added spice in the crowd and that electricity in the atmosphere that you can feel. We have to keep a lid on things as a coaching staff and players and just go there and get the three points. For the supporters, we-re hoping to deliver bragging rights again for them.