The Mariners will bring their season to a close on Monday, and young midfielder Josh Nisbet said the onus is on the squad to finish the campaign off strong against Melbourne Victory with the fans watching.
Nisbet came off the bench in the first game of the restart against Perth and helped to steady the ship in the second half, and also made an impact in the F3 Derby as a substitute and played a full 90 minutes against the Wanderers.
Staj praised the youngster after both the derby and the late draw on Monday, and Nisbet said on Saturday he was pleased with the difference he was able to make.
“When you come on as a sub, you want to make as big an impact as you can,” he said.
“I came on pretty early for a substitute [against Newcastle] and I thought I did pretty well and my aim was to get some momentum and bring up some intensity for our team and hopefully I did that.”
The Mariners have showed renewed defensive intensity since the restart conceding just twice through the three games, something that impressed Staj after a short turnaround to the Wanderers game.
“To play like that after a two-day turnaround is a phenomenal effort from the group,” he said on Monday post-match.
“I’m really proud of the effort they put in, as every A-League player will say backing up two days later and playing another 90 minutes is the toughest thing you can do and our boys showed they could do it tonight and they did it with quality.”
Attentions now turn to Monday’s meeting with the Victory, and Nizzy believes it is important that the squad make a point for Mariners fans in our final game.
“I feel like every game I am looking to play the best I can, and do my part for the team,” he said.
“Hopefully on Monday against Victory I can do that and we are able to get the win as well.”
“We want to show something to the fans who have been with us all this season, even though it hasn’t been our best.”
“We still want to end the season on a high and show them that we want to play for this club and we want to win.”
Watch the game on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports or the MyFootballLive app.