Moss: "Gritty or pretty? We can do both"

METHODS of winning a football game come in many different forms but it’s fair to say that two in particular contribute to the makings of a successful team.

METHODS of winning a football game come in many different forms but it-s fair to say that two in particular contribute to the makings of a successful team.

There-s gritty and there-s pretty!

Most wins include a bit of both - the old adage that you must win the battle first to give yourself the best chance of winning the football game rings true.

But sometimes a match doesn-t reach the “pretty” stage - players can have an off day with the ball, conditions can impact on the performance or an opposition-s tactics can suffocate your best intentions.

So the win over Wellington last Sunday - the teams- third in succession - was a very satisfying three points.

To score a hat-trick of wins - first and foremost - gives us a great platform from which to launch our season.

But if the previous week-s 7-2 victory over Sydney FC was a scintillating 90 minutes of attractive football and outstanding goals, last weekend-s win over Wellington was full of character, defensive discipline, determination and fight.

That we carved out four or five great chances to score was pleasing - and there was some great football amongst it, don-t get me wrong - but this time, unlike the week previous, we had to rely on one chance to ultimately win the game. A fantastic goal set-up by Tommy Rogic and finished in style by the in-form Daniel McBreen.

It-s crucial to be able to win both ways.

The swirling wind inside Westpac Stadium along with the hard and dry playing surface is hard to fathom unless you have experienced it first hand and meant getting the ball down and moving it quickly was difficult.

Wellington love a “street fight” so our boys had to roll up their sleeves and match them physically while also dealing with the frustration of not being able to play entirely the way we had planned.

This weekend poses a challenge of a different kind with a trip to Melbourne to take on a Victory side that is slowly but surely starting to resemble an outfit coached by Ange Postecoglou.

Their come-from-behind win over Sydney FC last weekend will have instilled plenty of confidence in the camp but we too possess plenty of that with nine points from our last nine in the bag.

It promises to be a ripper of a game and as with any between master tacticians Graham Arnold and Postecoglou, there is sure to be plenty of thought put into the game plans of both teams.

As always, “Arnie” has made the week about us and ensuring our backyard is in order and as long as our defensive structure holds firm it will give us every chance of returning from Melbourne with the three points.

Four clean sheets from our opening six games is something to be extremely proud of after all.

National team players Tom Rogic, Mathew Ryan (Socceroos) and Michael McGlinchey (New Zealand) meet up with the squad in Melbourne today after travelling to Asia to represent their countries during the week and will no doubt bring with them the buzz and intensity that comes from that environment.

Kick-off tomorrow night is 7.45pm.

Melbourne Victory vs. Central Coast Mariners Saturday 17 November, 2012 Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Kick-off: 7:45pm (AEDT) Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag for Melbourne Victory vs. Central Coast Mariners is #MVvCCM