Montgomery believes in Fortress Bluetongue

COMBATIVE Mariners midfielder Nick Montgomery says he found watching Friday’s clash with Brisbane Roar from his sofa difficult, but acknowledges missing the match through suspension may have been a blessing in disguise.

COMBATIVE Mariners midfielder Nick Montgomery says he found watching Friday-s clash with Brisbane Roar from his sofa difficult, but acknowledges missing the match through suspension may in fact have been a blessing in disguise.

The former Sheffield United midfield general has been carrying a minor knee complaint in recent weeks, however having received his fifth yellow card of the campaign in the yellow and navy-s 3-1 victory over Adelaide United was banned from participating in Friday-s Suncorp Stadium showdown.

“I-ve been carrying a bit of a niggle so it was a good opportunity for me to rest it,” Montgomery said following the team-s Monday training session.

“I spoke to Arnie (coach Graham Arnold) during the week and I took a couple of days off to let it settle down. I started back training today and it feels fantastic.”

While the rest appears to have rewarded Montgomery, the competitive former English Premier League player outlined that he struggled viewing the game on the box knowing he had no power to influence its outcome.

Montgomery has been a consistent presence in Graham Arnold-s side this season, playing 18 times since arriving on a three-year deal from ‘the Blades-.

“It-s quite frustrating sitting on the sofa - I tend to kick every ball!” he said. “Seeing the boys out there, I want to be out there, it-s difficult to watch.”

“But the first half I enjoyed it, I thought the boys played really well. And the second half was a good comeback to get a point in the end.”

With Oliver Bozanic having unfortunately injured his shoulder in Friday-s match, Montgomery is likely to be recalled by Arnold for this Thursday-s fixture against Wellington Phoenix at Gosford-s Bluetongue Stadium.

The no-nonsense 31-year-old midfielder will be looking to play his part in protecting the Mariners- unbeaten 2012/13 Hyundai A-League home record against a “physical” Phoenix side.

“You have to build a fortress at your home ground and I think Bluetongue has been a fantastic showing of that from the players and the fans,” Montgomery said. “It-s a fantastic atmosphere and we believe that no one can come there and beat us.”

“We-ll fight tooth and nail to make sure no one takes any points away from us at home.”

“They (Wellington) have had a bit of an indifferent season but they do have some good players. They are a physical team and on their day they-re a good match for anybody.”

“But we know that if we-re on our game we can get the right result.”

Indeed, the ambitious Montgomery says he is excited by the big games to come at Bluetongue Stadium this season, and opted to join the Central Coast Mariners for one primary reason.

“I came here to win things and that-s what I am looking to do," he said.

Central Coast Mariners vs. Wellington Phoenix - Hyundai A-League Round 20 Thursday 7 February, 2013 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 7:00pm (AEDT) Tickets: CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match! Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag is #CCMvNIX TV: Live on Fox Sports 2 & 2HD Radio: LIVE on Coast FM (96.3FM locally or streamed online at www.coastfm.org.au)