Central Coast Mariners will be aiming to end 2013 the same way it finished 2012 when the Club takes on Perth Glory at Gosford’s Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday night.
Central Coast Mariners will be aiming to end 2013 the same way it finished 2012 when the Club takes on Perth Glory at Gosford-s Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday night.
Last New Year-s Eve the Mariners defeated the purple-whites 1-0 at the Club-s idyllic bayside base, with pacey attacker Bernie Ibini scoring the game-s only goal in the 68th minute of play.
While the Mariners will not be able to rely on Ibini to notch the winner again - the Nigerian-born player-s five month loan spell with the Club will commence after round 13 - Central Coast boss Phil Moss says his men have prepared well for the final Hyundai A-League fixture of the year and are indeed eager to “make life miserable” for Kenny Lowe-s side on Tuesday evening.
“Bluetongue Stadium is our fortress and we-ve said that from day one,” Moss said following training on Monday. “We need to get back to winning ways here and make sure that all teams hate coming here. I still think that-s the case and we-ll be a very tough proposition [tomorrow night] and make sure that we make life miserable for Perth.”
“We used Christmas to freshen our players up a bit because we had three games in ten days leading into Christmas and two games in four days [before Christmas], and I think that certainly played a part in the Western Sydney performance first half.”
“There were a few harsh words exchanged at half time to try and spark a reaction second half and I got that - I was really proud of the way they came on and stuck to their guns and didn't concede any more goals second half down there.”
“We-ve drawn a line in the sand this week after the Western Sydney game and a couple of days off for Christmas to clear our heads. We-re only looking forward now, we-re not looking in the rear-vision mirror when the windscreen is a much bigger piece of glass.”
The Mariners last met Perth Glory on November 23 this year, with the yellow and navy winning 2-1 in the west thanks to goals from talented duo Michael McGlinchey and Mitchell Duke.
The round 7 encounter was Moss-s first in full charge of the Club after Graham Arnold-s move to J.League outfit Vegalta Sendai was confirmed in mid-November, and the win came while Alistair Edwards was still at the helm of the Glory boys.
Kenny Lowe has since replaced Edwards in the Perth hot seat, and while Moss is sure Lowe is working hard to create confidence in the 2012 Hyundai A-League Runners Up, he doesn-t believe Perth will be a vastly different proposition from a tactical viewpoint to what they when the two teams met just over a month ago.
“Obviously Kenny Lowe-s come in to take over from Ali Edwards and he-ll want to stamp his mark on the team and their style of play,” he said. “But what we-ve seen on the video this week is not too different [because] he hasn't really had a lot of time with the team.”
“I am sure he is just trying to instil some belief and wipe away the few weeks of turmoil that they-ve had.”
“For me it-s all about us and what we-ve done in our preparation, as well as the mindset our boys go into the game with. We-re looking to throw a few surprises up against Perth.”
9:00pm fireworks over the Brisbane Water will follow the clash between the Mariners and Glory, with an attendance of over 13,000 supporters anticipated for the Club-s annual New Year-s Eve fixture.
2013 represents the fourth time Moss has been involved in a New Year-s Eve match in an official capacity for Central Coast, and the relatively recently promoted Mariners mentor admits there are few places he-d rather be to see out what was an historic, legacy-leaving year for the Club.
“There-s always a fantastic atmosphere New Year-s Eve at Bluetongue and it-s one of our biggest crowds of the year regardless whether it-s a derby or it-s against Perth Glory,” he said. “I know the fireworks aren-t booked to start until 9:00pm but I think there will be some fireworks on the pitch when the two teams take the field.”
Central Coast Mariners Squad vs. Perth Glory: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE,10. Marcos FLORES, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matthew SIMON, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI *two to be omitted* Ins: 6. Brent GRIFFITHS (promoted), 17. Anthony CACERES (promoted) Outs: Nil Unavailable: 22. Tom SLATER (back - 1 week), 23. Adam KWASNIK (knee - season)