Griffiths sets sight on former club

Saturday night’s Hyundai A-League week 9 match against the North Queensland Fury at Bluetongue Stadium is shaping up to be a much anticipated contest for the Central Coast Mariners. Not only is it the Mariners last home game for seven weeks, but defender Rostyn Griffiths and forward Daniel McBreen will be taking the field against their former club.

Saturday night-s Hyundai A-League week 9 match against the North Queensland Fury at Bluetongue Stadium is shaping up to be a much anticipated contest for the Central Coast Mariners. Not only is it the Mariners last home game for seven weeks, but defender Rostyn Griffiths and forward Daniel McBreen will be taking the field against their former club.

Since his arrival at the beginning of the season Griffiths has become a focal point within the Mariners and he knows how important it is for the side to capitalise on its good home form before an extended period on the road.

“I think it-s quite necessary to get the points especially as we are going away for so long,” said Griffiths.

“We have done well to start the season and have been very solid defensively, I think this week we will be working on different things going forward and attacking.

“Each week we have played at home we have got better and better, so hopefully we can get another result.”

This season the Mariners have been a strong unit defensively, only conceding four goals in seven games, the equal best in the competition. Griffiths knows the importance of keeping their good record at the back against a dangerous Fury outfit.

However, he is not expecting any favours from North Queensland, who last week against the Wellington Phoenix made crucial mistakes early on, including a poor clearance from goalkeeper Justin Pasfield which gifted a goal to Leo Bertos.

“Unfortunately something like that won-t happen again with the goalkeeper kicking it straight to us.”

“They looked a bit shaky at the start, but once they get going they seem to be a solid side so if we can capitalise on them early especially at home it should be a good day for us.

“I think it's going to be end-to-end attack this weekend and hopefully our defensive shape can stop them from playing,” said Griffiths.

Griffiths also remain wary of a youthful North Queensland side, but believes the loss of experienced midfielder Ufuk Talay through suspension could prove costly for the Fury.

“Ufuk is massive loss, I said at the beginning of the season he was going to be one of their danger men, if you can keep him fit he keeps the ball moving and passes it well.”

“They do have their young players who have done well this season as well, but he will be a big loss for them,” said Griffiths.

With a FIFA international break and a bye looming for the Mariners this weekend-s match will be the last in front of the Bluetongue faithful for seven weeks, as Gosford City Council undertakes a complete returfing of the pitch.

Despite having a bye only last week, the former Blackburn man is looking forward to the extended break and the relaying of the Bluetongue Stadium surface.

“I think everyone is looking quite forward to it so when we do come back we are all quite refreshed.”

“It gives our pitch and training ground a chance to recover and so when we do come back it will be almost like a fresh start to the season,” Griffiths said.

At the conclusion of Saturday-s match supporters will be invited on the playing surface and Griffiths is desperate for Members and supporters to come along to be the team-s 12th man.

“Once we get going and the crowd gets behind us it makes a massive difference for everyone,” Griffiths said.

The Central Coast Mariners will be in action against North Queensland Fury this Saturday, 2 October at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford. Kick-off is at 5:15pm and tickets are available online at www.ticketek.com.au or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season are still available at www.ccmariners.com.au or by phoning 1300 762 442.