Mariners seek redemption against Sydney FC

Four straight losses is a record Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna is desperate to avoid, and is excited by the prospect of a midweek showdown with local rival Sydney FC, to get the Mariners’ season back on the right track.

Four straight losses is a record Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna is desperate to avoid, and is excited by the prospect of a midweek showdown with local rival Sydney FC, to get the Mariners- season back on the right track.

It will be the second match in five days for both clubs, and while Sydney FC striker Alex Brosque yesterday admitted the Christmas scheduling would be taxing for his team, conversely, McKinna says his troops are revelling in the chance t bounce back so soon after Saturday-s loss.

"We don-t have too much time to dwell on it, the boys trained well this morning and they were pretty upbeat," said McKinna.

"There will be a few changes for the game because we feel as though we can go down there and win. Sydney are a very consistent tea, doing well, good result down in Melbourne last week, so it-s going to be a good challenge for us but nothing that we haven-t done before, and nothing we-re not going to do again.

"The weekend was disappointing. We didn-t start well and went down 2-nil to two great goals but to come back the ay we did, at half time we were talking about winning the game, which we should have done.

"To cough up a goal in the 91st minute is heartbreaking for the fans and for the players but we-ve got a short turnaround to one of our biggest rivals on Wednesday night.

"The last three games, the results haven-t been that good but the performances have been OK so we need to turn a performance into a result and three points is our goal on Wednesday night," said McKinna.

Two of those changes will be through the return of Dean Heffernan and John Hutchinson from one match suspensions, and McKinna is hopeful the pair can help turn the tables, while he-s also excited by the recent form of some players who have found themselves on the fringes of the first team.

"The two of them coming back in are big plusses because they-ve been doing very well recently. (Dylan) Macallister came off the bench and scored, (Nik) Mrdja scored in the Youth team, (Matthew) Crowell scored in the Youth team, so we have boys coming into form and when you come off the back of three defeats its time to make some changes, which we-ll do this week," said McKinna.

Three points against Sydney FC this Wednesday would do wonders in helping re-ignite the Mariners- charge to the Premiership, in a competition which sees just 14 points still separating first from last place, and would mean McKinna-s men could potentially head back to Bluetongue Stadium for the New Year-s Eve blockbuster against Wellington Phoenix with the chance to move back into the top three.

Our home form has been bad, we-ve not been winning games even though we-ve played OK. It-s important for us and our fans to win at home, so three points on Wednesday would set up a great New Year-s Eve clash and give us a good Christmas,” McKinna said.

*Head-to-Heads: Played 15: Sydney FC wins 7, Central Coast Mariners wins 4 (4 draws)

Sydney FC squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3.Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLISIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 16. Chris PAYNE, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22. Sung Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT *two to be omitted*

In: Simon COLOSIMO (returns from suspension), John ALOISI (returns from injury)

Out: Adam CASEY (suspended - 1 week)

Unavailable: Kofi DANNING (knee - season)

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2. Matthew CROWELL, 3. Shane HUKE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Dean HEFFERNAN, 9. Nik MRDJA, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21. Ahmad ELRICH, 22. Nicky TRAVIS, 23. Adam KWASNIK.? *four to be omitted*?

In: John HUTCHINSON (returns from suspension), Dean HEFFERNAN (returns from suspension), Nik MRDJA (promoted), Matthew CROWELL (promoted)??

Out: Nil??

Unavailable: Chris DOIG (quad - 1 week)

The Mariners- next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season will be the New Years Eve extravaganza against Wellington Phoenix on Thursday, 31 December. Kick-off is at 6:00pm. Tickets for this match are available online at www.ticketek.com.au or by phoning 132 849.

For more information about the Gosford New Year-s Eve festival go to www.gosfordnye.com.au

Mariners Four Match Christmas Packs for the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online at www.ccmariners.com.au or by phoning 1300 767 442.