McKinna: "It was a great team performance"

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna has celebrated his, and the club’s 100th Hyundai A-League match by declaring the 3-nil victory over high-flyers Gold Coast United as a great team performance.

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna has celebrated his, and the club-s 100th Hyundai A-League match by declaring the 3-nil victory over high-flyers Gold Coast United as a great team performance.

Goals to Nicky Travis, Matt Simon and John Hutchinson capped off a memorable night for the yellow and navy.

"Maybe if I told the boys it was my 100th game next week, and the week after they might believe me!" Joked McKinna.

"It was a good opportunity to go out and play football. We scored three goals, but defensively we never gave them a look in the whole game, Danny (Vukovic) had one save.

"The defensive shape was good, we nullified (Shane) Smeltz and (Jason) Culina was busy but didn-t penetrate, and when we got the ball we kept the ball. The movement off the ball was great, and last week we didn-t create a lot and today we did," McKinna said.

The Hyundai A-League-s leading goalscorer Smeltz saw red after 67 minutes on a frustrating night for the Gold Coast, but McKinna believes the send off had little bearing on the final result.

"Whether Smeltz got sent off or not we would have won that game and deserved to win it," McKinna said.

The result moves the Central Coast, to within two points of the Competition lead, and, albeit temporarily into second spot on the ladder, and was hailed by McKinna as the side-s best performance of the campaign.

"Over 90 minutes this was the most consistent.

"We created chances, kept going, and just believed in each other. Instead of being negative we were taking half a chance to go forward and did very well.

"I thought the two guys up front led the line well, the four boys in midfield were outstanding and the boys at the back were solid. Overall, it was very pleasing," McKinna said.

The return of off-season signings Michael McGlinchey and Chris Doig added confidence to the yellow and navy across the park, and McKinna is excited at the prospect of another new face to add even competition for places in the near future.

"Having McGlinchey and Doig available, all of a sudden there is a bit of depth there so everybody has to be on their toes.

"Doig came in and was outstanding, McGlinchey came in and deserved a goal. He was everywhere and started a lot of the attacks, he was changing wings, coming in side then going back out the other way.

"Matt Crowell will hopefully be available next week which adds a bit more depth again, but you couldn-t pick the best man on our team tonight because everybody stood up and it was a great team performance," said McKinna.

And the Mariners- mentor also used the victory to highlight to critics of the club-s playing style, that they are often wrongly accused of playing "route one" football.

"We always believe in ourselves.

"Nobody ever believes in us, so that doesn-t make any difference to us, but I don-t think anybody will be able to say we played long ball and were direct after tonight, because we kept the ball very well and frustrated the Gold Coast into having to go long.

"It will be nice to be able to read about us actually knocking the ball about and playing some good football, unless I was watching a different game," said McKinna.

Mariners- defender Dean Heffernan backed his managers assessment of the victory, and offered an insight into the players mentality during such an impressive 90 minutes.

"We were just really positive tonight.

"It wasn-t so much about their performance, it was about ours. At home, very positive and everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves as well as muscling up.

"When the Mariners do that, we-re hard to beat," said Heffernan.

The Mariners next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season will be against North Queensland Fury on Sunday, 11 October. Kick-off is at 3:00pm. Tickets for this match are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online by clicking here or by phoning 1300 767 442.