Morale high as Mariners ready for Reds

CENTRAL Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold insists his players, coaching and support staff remain focussed on this Sunday’s Hyundai A-League clash with Adelaide United despite the Club currently experiencing ownership and financial issues.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold insists his players, coaching and support staff remain focussed on this Sunday-s Hyundai A-League clash with Adelaide United despite the Club currently experiencing ownership and financial issues.

Arnold led his team in training on Thursday for the first time this week, and following the session told media that it-s business as usual for the Club ahead of Sunday-s encounter with the Reds.

“It-s been a tough week for the players,” Arnold admitted. “But they are a great bunch of boys and the leadership group has done a great job of keeping them all together.”

“Today is the first day that I have seen them because I gave them a few days off, but morale is high.”

“Before training the Chairman (Peter Turnbull) and Board Member Mike Charlesworth had a chat to them over loudspeaker on the phone to inform them what-s going on and I think that-s relaxed a lot of the players.”

“On the football side of it the players have a job to do. I have a job to do as Coach and we-ve just got to get on with things. We-ve got a big game against Adelaide this weekend and we-ll make sure we-re ready for it.”

Arnold said he has confidence in the Club-s capacity to rectify its ownership and financial issues soon.

“There has to be a resolution and I am pretty sure that it will be sorted out quite quickly,” he said.

“There-s no hiding the fact Peter Turnbull has publicly asked before for new investment in the ownership. It-s probably come to that stage now where something has to happen.”

Historically, the Mariners enjoy a strong record in Australia-s city of churches against the Reds. Indeed, in 11 competitive meetings at Hindmarsh Stadium the Mariners have won four times and claimed four draws.

By kick-off in Sunday-s round 26 Hyundai A-League fixture, Arnold will know whether his team still has the opportunity to claim back-to-back Premierships. Western Sydney Wanderers host Sydney FC at Parramatta Stadium on Saturday evening, with the Mariners needing Frank Farina's Sky Blues to take at least a point from their visit to ‘Wanderland- to remain in the hunt for successive league titles.

Impressively, Central Coast Mariners have already secured second place on the Hyundai A-League ladder, and will play its sole Final Series Semi Final game on Sunday 14 April at Gosford-s Bluetongue Stadium.

The Mariners will be without goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and midfielder Michael McGlinchey for Sunday-s contest, with both players away on international duty. Ryan is in Sydney with the Qantas Socceroos, while McGlinchey is in Dunedin with New Zealand's All Whites.

National Youth League custodian David Bradasevic will take a place on the bench for the Mariners this weekend, with Justin Pasfield promoted to the starting eleven in Ryan-s absence.

Adelaide United vs. Central Coast Mariners - 2012/13 Hyundai A-League Round 26 Sunday 24 March, 2013 Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Kick-off: 6:30pm (local); 7:00pm (AEST) Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hashtag is #REDSvCCM