CENTRAL Coast Mariners will take the field against Brisbane Roar on Sunday without their Dutch defensive rock, Patrick Zwaanswijk. Captain John Hutchinson says whoever replaces Zwaanswijk can do the job.
CENTRAL Coast Mariners will take the field against Brisbane Roar on Sunday without their Dutch defensive rock Patrick Zwaanswijk who will serve a one-match suspension for his red card in last weekend-s 2-2 draw with Melbourne Victory.
The Mariners are coming off the back of a gutsy performance at Etihad Stadium and club captain John Hutchinson is confident they have what it takes to pick up all three points without Zwaanswijk on the pitch.
Despite missing such an experienced central defender, the Mariners will place confidence in their young guns to get the job done.
In the running to join fellow youngster Trent Sainsbury at the back and fill the shoes of Zwaanswijk are Zach Anderson and Brent Griffiths.
Hutchinson knows that whoever gets the final nod is more than capable of doing the job and serve as a crucial piece in the Mariners- defensive formation.
“The defensive structure has been set by Arnie (Graham Arnold) and all the boys know their jobs, so whoever comes in and takes over Patrick-s job should know what they need to do,” Hutchinson said.
The Mariners are a strong unit and with players like Anderson and Griffiths ready to put their hand up and make the most of their opportunity in the starting 11, the backline will remain tough to break down.
Before the commencement of the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League pundits were placing pressure on the relatively inexperienced Trent Sainsbury who had the sizeable task of stepping into the role of long time club captain Alex Wilkinson.
With due credit to the hard work of Sainsbury and consistent structure that Arnold has applied to the whole squad, the 20-year-old former Qantas Young Socceroos representative has fit seamlessly into the Mariners backline, making several goal saving tackles and playing a vital role in various goals.
This weekend either Anderson or Griffiths will face similar pressure in replacing the Dutchman and like Sainsbury has done and continues to do, Hutchinson said they have been working overtime to make the most of their imminent starting opportunity.
“They-re both fantastic players with great attitudes towards training and their work rate is second to none,” he said.
Sainsbury has shown the fans why he has been Arnold-s pick to feature alongside Zwaanswijk and now it is time for him to take the next step and lead whoever it is chosen to partner him in defence.
“Sains has done very well in taking over from Wilko (Wilkinson), he had some big shoes to fill and he has done that, now we need him to lead either Zach or Brent Griff around the park,” Hutchinson said.
Regardless of who takes the spot Hutchinson is sure they will succeed. Griffiths will replicate the winning mentality his brother Rostyn brought to the Club, while if it's Anderson his dominant attitude will assist him in thwarting some familiar opponents in Thomas Broich and Besart Berisha who he played against in his time at Gold Coast United.
Both players are eager to prove that they can perform at the top level of Australian football and they have the belief of the entire squad that they are ready.
Sunday-s home match should see an impressive crowd eager to see a similar performance to that of the exhilarating 7-2 thumping the Mariners dished out to Sydney FC in their last match at Bluetongue Stadium.
Central Coast Mariners vs. Brisbane Roar - 2012/13 Hyundai A-League Round 8 Sunday 25 November, 2012 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 5:00pm (local) Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag for Sunday-s game is #CCMvROAR