After last weekend’s heart stopper against Melbourne Victory, the Central Coast Mariners will be looking for more Victorian success when they take on Western United in Geelong.
The Mariners are winless in their past 18 matches in Victoria, a streak that Alen Stajcic will be looking to break as he seeks to wipe the club’s slate clean this season having broken an almost seven year in the win over the Victory last weekend.
Spirits have been high in the camp this week following the triumph, and Lewis Miller’s re-signing was another boost for the club during an important time.
Miller has been a key cog in the backline for Stajcic, and could this weekend face the opponents who he made his first start against in that 1-0 victory back in round seven.
Stajcic has a largely full strength squad to pick from and the resurgence at the end of last week’s game showed the depth he can now call on, something he echoed to media on Friday.
“I’m happy with the depth we are developing,” he said.
“I looked at our game last week and across at the bench and was very happy with who came on and also who didn’t get on and also knowing we had those in the stands who can add value to our team.”
“It’s the first where I’ve really sat back and reflected that we’ve got a good amount of depth now that we can call upon when needed.”
He admitted to being wary of Western’s prowess and experience though as the league’s newest team chase a much needed win.
“[They are] a team packed with talent,” he said.
“Diamanti, Berisha, stalwarts like Durante and Kurto in goals, Kone - you could rifle through their team, they’ve had a bit of a rough patch recently but they’re certainly a team capable of beating anyone on their day.”
“It’s always easier to be the underdog to get motivated and certainly we’ve been in that position 99.9% of the time over the last couple years.”
“I have a lot of faith that if we play to our potential as we’ve shown over the last 4 to 5 weeks that we can get results and compete with anyone.”
“We’ve competed with Sydney, Wellington, Adelaide and Perth and they’re all in the top six and last week against Victory we showed that we can compete with good quality teams.”
Western United FC squad: 1.Filip KURTO (GK), 4.Andrew DURANTE, 5.Dylan PIERIAS, 7.Valentino YUEL, 8.Panagiotis KONE, 9.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Dario JERTEC, 14.Max BURGESS, 15.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 17.Joshua CAVALLO, 18.Besart BERISHA, 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Sebastian PASQUALI, 22.Ersan GULUM, 23.Alessandro DIAMANTI, 24.Thiel (Thierry) IRADUKUNDA, 26.Kwabena APPIAH-KUBI, 27.Jerry SKOTADIS, 30.Ryan SCOTT (GK).
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 8.Panagiotis KONE (return from injury), 19.Josh RISDON (return form injury), 22.Ersan GULUM (promoted)
Outs: 28.Oskar DILLON (not selected)
Unavailable: 2.Aaron CALVER (Foot), 13.Ivan VUJICA (Leg), 20.James DELIANOV (GK) (knee - season), 3.Brendan HAMILL (knee)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Eunsun KIM, 6.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 7.Milan ÐURIĆ, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY, 9.Jordan MURRAY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Daniel DE SILVA, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Dylan FOX, 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 19.Matthew SIMON, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 26.Joshua NISBET, 27.Lewis MILLER, 29.Jair BRITTO, 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 21.Ruon TONGYIK (Promoted), 26.Joshua Nisbet (Promoted), 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ (Promoted)
Outs: 17.Samuel SILVERA (personal leave)
Match Details |
Sunday, 19th January
GHMBA Stadium, Geelong
Kick-off: 4pm (AEDT)
Referee: Jonathan Barreiro
Assistant Referee 1: Wilson Brown
Assistant Referee 2: Tony Peart
Fourth Official: Jack Morgan
VAR: Alex King
Watch: Fox Sports 505, Kayo Sports & MyFootball Live App