Home time beckons for the Mariners as they welcome Sydney FC to Central Coast Stadium on Sunday evening to finish off Round 20 of the Hyundai A-League.
Despite dominating for large swathes of the match the Mariners were unable to beat Adelaide last Friday, instead falling to the fifth loss in a row thanks to two late goals from the Reds.
Alen Stajcic’s men will be looking to rebound this weekend, but will need to defeat a team who are undefeated in their last 12 Hyundai A-League outings.
Sydney will be returning to the pitch from a loss, having gone down to Yokohama F. Marinos in the Asian Champions League group stages on Wednesday night, but Stajcic said at media on Friday that the result gave the Mariners more reason to be wary of the Sky Blues.
“I'm sure they'll be smarting from that loss but they've got such a winning mentality in that group and in that club,” he said.
“You know I'm sure they're just going to want to bounce back quickly and come back even bigger and better so you know it's probably almost worse for us that they suffered such a loss.”
“But you know we can't really focus on them at the end of the day, there's a lot of things that give us confidence moving in to this match and we know if we can play at our best that we can we can provide a realistic challenge for them.”
The performance last Friday was one of the Mariners’ best of the season despite the lack of goals and final result, and Stajcic said there was plenty to take from it ahead of welcoming Sydney.
“To see players who haven’t played a lot, or who have been in and out come in like that it was really pleasing, and one of the more pleasing parts of this year that we could put on such a performance against a top four team with that squad.”
“It shows that we’re building, slowly, there’s lots of good things going into this game and coming from even the position we’re in where we haven’t won for quite a while now, and there’s still so many positives that we can draw on and that we have to build on and have to add to the belief that we can compete with anyone on any given day.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Eunsun KIM, 7.Milan ÐURIĆ, 8.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9.Jordan MURRAY, 10.Tommy OAR, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Sam SILVERA, 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 19.Matt SIMON, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Mario SHABOW, 24.Chris HAROLD, 26.Joshua NISBET, 27.Lewis MILLER, 29.Jair BRITTO
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Tommy OAR (Return from Injury), 19.Matt SIMON (Return from Injury), 22, Jacob MELLING (Promoted), 23.Mario SHABOW (Promoted)
Outs: 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ (not selected)
Unavailable: 14.Abraham MAJOK (Injured), 16.Kye ROWLES (Injured), 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ (International Duty)
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Patrick FLOTTMANN, 3.Ben WARLAND, 4.Alex WILKINSON (c), 6.Ryan McGOWAN, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam LE FONDRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 16.Joel KING, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Luke IVANOVIC, 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE, 21.Harry VAN DER SAAG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Marco TILIO, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Jordi SWIBEL, 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 3. Ben WARLAND (return from injury), 24.Marco TILIO (promoted), 27.Jordi SWIBEL (promoted), 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF (promoted)
Unavailable: 5.Alex BAUMJOHANN (suspended – 1 match), 7. Michael ZULLO (calf), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee)
Match Details |
Sunday, 23rd February
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 6:00pm (AEDT)
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Brad Wright
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App
Radio: myfootballnation.com (SWR999, Coast FM)