After keeping the Central Coast Mariners first clean sheet in 36 matches, shot stopper Paul Izzo says that securing back-to-back wins would help his side make a statement.
Speaking with media at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Izzo said the number one priority for the team is taking three points but that comes hand in hand with keeping clean sheets.
“It’s great to get the monkey off our back but more importantly we won the game,” Izzo said. “At the end of the day we want to score goals and keep clean sheets.
“It is a sign that things are changing around here, the style that we’ve instilled is completely different, the clean sheet is a massive confidence booster. “We’ve all worked so hard this season and in pre-season so it was great to get a nice reward with the win,” Izzo said.
With every week it seems there is a new record to be broken and this week the Yellow & Navy have a prime opportunity to notch back-to-back wins for the first time this season and create momentum heading into the ninth game of their campaign.
“Earning back-to-back wins would be a great way to make a statement and maintain our spot in the top six but at this stage we don’t want to look too much into the ladder,” Izzo said. “We just want to focus on ourselves, focus on our style and perfect the way we play. If we do that the table will take care of itself,” Izzo said.
Humble by nature, Izzo credited his goalkeeping coach Matt Nash for the amount of work he has put into developing his game since arriving on the Central Coast.
“From day one since I joined the club Matt Nash has never given up on me,” Izzo said. “He saw what I could achieve and that’s why he has put so much effort into me, even since Ivan Necevski has come in the standards have raised because there’s so much competition for places. Even young Pearcey is doing an outstanding job,” Izzo said.
When asked about this weekend, Izzo was quick to remind reporters that no one at the Central Coast Mariners is getting too carried away.
“I don’t want to boast about previous performances, I just want to focus on the next game,” Izzo said. “I look forward to every game, every team provides strong competition in this league and no matter what I’ll always have something to do in the game, every goalkeeper wants to make their mark in every game but we’re confident going into this one.
Earlier in the week Wanderers’ defender, Scott Neville fired a shot at Central Coast Mariners fans but Paul Izzo was quick to jump to their defence and was full of praise for the Yellow & Navy faithful.
“I’m sure there is going to be over 10 000 people at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday which will create an amazing atmosphere and that’s what players love playing in front of,” Izzo said. “On a Thursday night our fans turned out in numbers and created some noise that we could here before, after and even during the game which was fantastic to play in front of.
“It would be great if it [Neville’s comments] gets more people to the game but we’ll focus on our fans and he can focus on his, our fans are great, they’ve been through a lot and for them to be still showing up in numbers, I take my hat off to them,” Izzo said.
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 9
Saturday 3 December 2016
Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:35pm (AEDT)
Official hash-tags: #CCMvWSW & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM