McBreen: First-leg crucial to last eight chances

CENTRAL Coast Mariners attacker Daniel McBreen says the yellow and navy are excited to take on Marcello Lippi’s Guangzhou Evergrande in the first-leg of the round of 16 of the 2013 AFC Champions League at Central Coast Stadium next Wednesday.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners attacker Daniel McBreen says the yellow and navy are excited to take on Marcello Lippi-s Guangzhou Evergrande in the first-leg of the round of 16 of the 2013 AFC Champions League at Central Coast Stadium next Wednesday.

“We are all pumped and we-re really looking forward to it,” McBreen said. “It-s a huge achievement to get to the last 16. It was something we set as a goal at the start of the season, and for us to be there now and have the opportunity in a home and away leg to make the final eight is unbelievable.”

McBreen believes it is important that the Mariners collect all three points against the ‘Southern China Tigers- next week, before visiting Guangzhou-s Tianhe Stadium for the second-leg on May 22.

“We have such a good record at home and we need to take advantage of that so that we have something to try and hold onto when we are away. Guangzhou will obviously be a different prospect at their home ground, so we definitely need to try and get the points on the board in this first game,” he said.

The Hyundai A-League golden boot winner says he hopes to see a strong crowd come along and support the Australian domestic Champions for the Club-s encounter with one of the heavyweights of Asian football at Gosford-s idyllic bayside arena next Wednesday.

“I-m hoping a lot of football fans regardless of who they support get behind us and treat it some what as an international - it-s Australia versus China. It would be good to see a lot of people come out and make it a great atmosphere.”

McBreen, along with seven other Mariners- stars were selected in the top 35 players for the inaugural Foxtel A-League All Stars match against Manchester United at ANZ Stadium in July.

The Burnley-born marksman admitted he is pleased by the recognition from the fans, and acknowledged the two-match test against Lippi-s charges provided the perfect opportunity to impress the selectors while other A-League players enjoy their vacations.

“It-s always good to be recognised by the fans,” he said. “The Club did particularly well, we have had eight players selected, and it is a reflection of how well we have done. We-ve played great football, we have been a really good team and worked together well. It-s a good reward for a great season.”

“For us it is an incentive to keep training. Most of the other teams have finished and are in their off-season now. We will continue on, and it-s two big games for us, we are still at 100 per cent and the intensity is high. It is good for us and gives us another chance to impress the selectors.”

Central Coast Assistant Coach Phil Moss says he is hopeful of seeing some of his troops take to the pitch against the ‘Red Devils- in July.

“I think they-ve got every chance,” Moss said. “They are in the make up for the final squad. I guess it then comes down to Ange and the way he wants to play against Manchester United. I imagine he would have the final say as the team coach, but we have our fingers are crossed and we would love to see some of our boys out there in the big game.”

Along with McBreen, Mathew Ryan, Joshua Rose, Patrick Zwaanswijk, Trent Sainsbury, Pedj Bojic, Michael McGlinchey and Bernie Ibini are in the running to represent the Foxtel A-League All Stars against Manchester United at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 20 July.

Central Coast Mariners (AUS) vs. Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN) 2013 AFC Champions League Round of 16 First-Leg Wednesday 15 May, 2013 Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 7:30pm Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match. Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official hash tag for the game is #CCMvGE