McKinna – we didn’t deserve it

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna admits his side was second best for much of it’s first loss of the new campaign, going down 1-nil to Brisbane Roar on a frustrating afternoon at Suncorp Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna admits his side was second best for much of it-s first loss of the new campaign, going down 1-nil to Brisbane Roar on a frustrating afternoon at Suncorp Stadium.

The Mariners were undone by an 11th minute header from Brisbane-s veteran skipper Craig Moore.

"That-s two weeks in a row. I thought we were OK in the first fifteen minutes until they scored, and when they scored, we just stopped," McKinna said.

"We kept the ball reasonably well and looked very comfortable, but then from a set piece, which should have been marked up on and dealt with, wasn-t, and it has cost us. Craig Moore has got a great header, free run, free challenge, and it just shouldn-t happen, but it did.

"We went down 1-nil and went into our shells, and we were probably lucky Brisbane didn-t score just before half time, Danny made a good save," McKinna said, speaking of a good block low down to deny Robbie Kruse in a 44th minute goalmouth scramble.

Vukovic was called upon several times, most notably with a one-on-one save to keep out former Rangers striker Charlie Miller.

"In the second half, Danny made one good save but we didn-t start playing until probably Nicky Travis and Ahmad came on. We had a bit of a change and we put them under pressure, but it was more huff and puff (than anything else).

"Travis came on and did well, we had a bit of a go, but it was a bit flat," McKinna said.

Travis, the former Sheffield United academy player, showed some fine touch at times, while Vukovic was again solid at the back.

"He made some great reflex saves, and did very well. (We had) no chances on goal, but Danny has been great for us all season, and on today, just as well for us," said McKinna.

The Roar-s victory went some way to turning around a testing week, which saw Tommy Oar suspended, Frank Farina banished to the stands, and the club sanctioned by the FFA for the number of bookings in last Sunday-s 1-all draw with Wellington.

"We knew they-d come out, we expected it. They were at home, and everybody goes on about the hoodoo, but I-m sure Frank (Farina) knows they-ve been unlucky in a lot of games, but the disappointing thing was, we didn-t even have a yellow card today, and that just sums up our flat performance, we didn-t even compete.

"Bob Malcolm-s was a great booking. Matt Simon was away, and he put his body on the line for the team and got a yellow card for it. I-m sure Frank sitting in the grandstands would have been very happy with that because we caught them there, but (overall) we didn-t compete," McKinna said.

With time running out, the yellow and navy had the chance to nick a late equaliser, with the ball bouncing around in the goalmouth for several seconds, before eventually falling to Ahmad Elrich, who was unlucky to see his first time effort from the edge of the area miss the target.

"I would have taken it (a draw), but we didn-t deserve it, Brisbane were the better team on the day. If we-d got a draw I would have been very thankful," said McKinna.

Next on the Mariners- horizon is a date with the vastly improved Perth Glory, who head into Friday-s clash at Canberra Stadium fresh from a 2-1 home victory over defending champions Melbourne Victory.

"They had a good performance last night at home. They-ve won their last two home games and they-re steady, they-ve got more fluency to their play, so it-s going to be a hard game.

"If we don-t go out and compete against anybody it-s going to be a hard game, so we need to get competitive. Things are going to happen in games where things go against you, but you don-t just drop your bundle and stop playing, you have to believe in each other, and we usually do, but today we didn-t," said McKinna.

The Mariners- next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season is Friday, 4 September. Kick-off is at 8pm at Canberra Stadium. Tickets 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.