Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss says his side are heading into Saturday’s clash with Sydney FC full of confidence after an impressive run of results ahead of their mid-season break for the AFC Asian Cup.
The yellow and navy will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run in 2015 when they face the Sky Blues at Gosford’s idyllic bayside base tomorrow night.
“I can’t wait to see the players in action again. We’ve had a fantastic break. I’m really excited about the second half of the season, we’ve got the quality and confidence now after the last three results to really launch a bid for that top six and hopefully higher,” Moss said.
The men from the harbour city will be hoping to end their current run of form on Saturday. Sydney are without a win in their last seven games and have failed to score in their last four matches.
Moss says he’s expecting an entertaining match against Sydney and insists his side are fully focused on the task at hand, despite former boss Graham Arnold returning to Gosford for the first time since his move to the Sky Blues.
“They will come here fighting tooth and nail, and will want to get a result for Arnie against his former club,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of players who are highly motivated to get a result against their old coach, so there are a lot of ingredients that go into what should be a very tasty game. We need to put the emotion aside and focus on the game plan and executing it.”
“They (Sydney) are under a lot of pressure. They are a massive club and that demands results every week. We’re rebuilding our football team and there were some very positive signs before the break. We need to take that into tomorrow night’s game.”
“Arnie is a great mate of mine. He’s a mentor and I’ve made no secret of my respect for him, but once we walk out there tomorrow, battle lines are drawn and I’ll be doing everything in my power to get the three points for my team.”
The Central Coast boss has a full playing roster, minus Michael Neill, to choose from for the round 15 encounter, with Matt Simon and Nick Montgomery named in the squad after overcoming injury.
Moss also praised the Central Coast supporters for their efforts in the stands over recent weeks.
“The last two games at home against Brisbane and Melbourne City, the crowd was fantastic and the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing. You can see the extra energy that it gives the players,” he concluded.
Central Coast forward Mitchell Duke, who starred for the Mariners in their last outing, netting a brace in a 2-0 win over Melbourne City, says the team can’t wait to be back in action against Arnold’s men.
“We’ve had a big break from football over the last few weeks and all the players are really excited. I think you can expect a nice, physical and exciting game tomorrow night,” said Duke.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Matthew NASH (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 9.Mitchell DUKE, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (Gk), 14.Travis MAJOR, 15.Matt SIM, 17.Richard VERNES, 18.Glen TRIFIRO, 19.Matt SIMON, 23.Isaka CERNAK, 25.Eddy BOSNAR
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (returns from injury), 19.Matt SIMON (returns from injury)
Unavailable: 21.Michael NEILL (foot – indefinite)
Sydney FC squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 4.Pedj BOJIC, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Nikola PETKOVIC, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Christopher NAUMOFF, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Alex GERSBACH, 18.Peter TRIANTIS, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21.Mark JANKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 26.Jacques FATY, 27.Mickael TAVARES, 34.Robert STAMBOLZIEV
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 5.Matt JURMAN (return from illness), 26.Jacques FATY (new signing), 27.Mickael TAVARES (new signing), 34.Robert STAMBOLZIEV (new signing)
Outs: 12.Hagi GLIGOR (return to NYL), 29.George BLACKWOOD (return to NYL)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – indefinite), 22.Ali ABBAS (knee – indefinite), 19.Nick CARLE (knee – indefinite), 3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI (hip – indefinite).17.Terry ANTONIS (international duty)
Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC – Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Round 15
Saturday 24 January 2015
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Gates open: 6.30pm
Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag is #CCMvSYD
Watch: Live on FOX SPORTSListen: Live on ABC Grandstand & Coast FM