Match Preview: Mariners v Perth

Coming off the back of a 1-0 loss against Adelaide, Alen Stajcic’s Mariners face a tough test in the ladder leading Perth Glory this Sunday at home. After Friday’s training session, Alen Stajcic spoke with media.

Two games into the Alen Stajcic Caretaker period the Mariners have shown plenty of promise and improved structure. With a 3-2 win over the Newcastle Jets away and a narrow 1-0 loss to Adelaide United, the team are determined to get back to winning ways this Sunday.

It’s no easy task though – travelling to Central Coast Stadium is Tony Popovic’s high-flying Perth Glory who look bound for the Premiers Plate.

They are coming off the back of a 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory, conceding a free-kick and a penalty, despite an impressive performance.

The Mariners will be without Jem Karacan who serves a one-week-suspension whilst Perth Glory will travel to the Central Coast at full strength.

Alen Stajcic says
Big challenges ahead…
“This Sunday is a really exciting challenge.” Stajcic said. “We’re obviously playing against the top team this week then Melbourne Victory next week so we’ve got the top two sides in the next two weeks. That’s highly motivating, we’ve worked really hard over the last couple of weeks on shape and structure so it will be a good test of how far we’ve come.

Home advantage…
“It’s always an advantage to play at home and we are really determined to bring the Central Coast community on board and give them a lot of hope for not only the rest of the year but some momentum building into next season as well. I think they saw that in our performance against Adelaide, even a man down the sprit in the team was fantastic and we managed to grind it out until the end and unlucky not to jag an equaliser. But from a mentality point of view I was really pleased and we want to take that into the game against Perth.

The suspension of Jem Karacan…
“The squad here has depth, Jacob Melling didn't play the last game and he could easily slip in. That’s a selection choice we need to make over the next couple of days, we’ve got a host of players to choose from and it’s great to have competition for spots.

Player/coach contract negotiations…
“[player contract negotiations] I don’t think that should be a motivation for a player. They should be putting in maximum effort all year in every game, every minute and at training, it shouldn’t just be at the end of the year. The motivation for a professional footballer should be there all the time, so thinking about all of those other things can sometimes be a distraction. We have a game against Perth, they are the top team, they played a fantastic match last week against Melbourne Victory, despite losing 2-0 I thought they were excellent – that game is our number one focus.

“I’m loving living on the Central Coast, it’s a beautiful part of the world. For me, the most important thing is to give the Central Coast community a team that they are proud of that they can support, that’s the goal for the rest of this year and hopefully we can achieve that.

Perth Glory’s success…
“They’ve had outstanding discipline – they’ve got key players in Castro, Ikonimidis and to have a player like Keogh coming off the bench shows the depth they’ve developed but they are a fantastic team, consistent week in week out so they deserve to be at the top of the table

Positives from the Adelaide game…
“It gives us belief in what we’re doing from a defensive perspective but there’s more than that. We need to learn how to be a bit more composed with the ball, that’s been a big focus on training this week but I’ve been really proud with the commitment over the past two weeks, but we’re not proud of a 1-0 loss. We want to get back to being competitive and winning matches, that’s what sport is all about,” Stajcic said.

Squad lists

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 3.Jack CLISBY, 6. Tom HIARIEJ, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY,11.Connor PAIN, 18.Matt MILLAR, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 13.Aiden O’NEILL, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Mario SHABOW 25.Jordan MURRAY, 28.Sam GRAHAM, 29.Stephen MALLON
***One to be omitted***

Ins: 23.Mario SHABOW (promoted) & 28.Sam GRAHAM (promoted)

Outs: 68.Jem KARACAN (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 10.Tommy OAR (knee injury)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Andy KEOGH, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Scott NEVILLE, 27.JUANDE, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 22.Fabio FERREIRA

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (abdominal injury – 2 weeks)

Opta Stat Attack

  • Perth Glory have won their past three games against the Mariners, they have never previously won four in a row against the Mariners
  • The Mariners have won 16 of their past 21 home games against Glory
  • There have been 24 goals scored in the Mariners last four A-League home games
  • Perth Glory are yet to lose back-to-back games under Tony Popovic, they come into this game having lost 2-0 to Victory last week
  • The Mariners are the only team yet to keep a clean sheet this season
  • Perth Glory have conceded just 11 fouls per game this season, the fewest in the competition
  • Only against the Jets (8) has Matt Simon scored more goals than he has against Perth (6)

Match Details
Hyundai A-League Round 24
Sunday, 7 April 2019
Match:
Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Tickets: CLICK HERE
Kick-off: 7:00pm (AEST)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvPER & #CCMFC