After the Mariners’ final training session at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, we caught up with Caretaker Coach Wayne O’Sullivan to preview Saturday’s clash with Sydney FC.
Both teams will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing run of results in the Hyundai A-League over the past two weeks.
It’s been a challenging week at Central Coast Mariners HQ but Caretaker Coach, Wayne O’Sullivan says the players have responded well on the training track and will give it their all on Saturday night.
The Yellow & Navy are the only team this season to take four points from a possible six against Sydney FC and will be hoping to keep their run of form against the Sky Blues alive in their final match of the season against them.
In round six in front of their home fans at Central Coast Stadium, the Mariners became the first team this season to beat Sydney FC and away from home at Allianz Stadium they played out a 1-1 draw.
Regardless of positions on the ladder, the battle between the Mariners and Sydney FC is always one to watch.
(The players' response to a challenging week…)
“They’ve been professional,” O’Sullivan said. “We move forward as a football club, as staff and as players. We have a day-to-day job to do so we will get on and do it.
(Underdog status against Sydney FC…)
“It’s never changed since season one. We’ve always been the underdogs when we’ve taken on Sydney FC so that doesn’t change. As always, the boys are keen to do well against any team but when you play against Sydney there’s that local rivalry.
“They’re going to be up for it regardless. Given the circumstances of the week and the boys being clear that they want to perform for Antony Golec, I know the team will be keen to put on a good performance. They want to perform for themselves and of course the fans.
(Approaching Sydney FC…)
“The work that’s been done here this season has been excellent, they’ve just had no luck. We will go about business in a similar way, we won’t try and re-invent the wheel.
“With four games to go it’s all about getting to game day and being at our best/freshest come kick-off.
(Sully, a Mariner since day one…)
“I was here from day one and was a part of the leadership group. One of the things I’m very proud of is the culture that we established here with the first group of players that was built around hard work and a strong work ethic. We always gave everything we could possibly give, so I’m very proud to be involved at the level that I am now.
“We literally were Gypsies at the first 2-3 years of this football club, and we trained wherever we could find a pitch. Now we obviously have a training facility and the beginning of a fantastic infrastructure.
(Your message to the fans…)
“We need them. I was here when there were 18 thousand people at the stadium and we got some results that year that quite frankly as a group of players we were under no illusion, we were not a fantastic individual group of players. But together collectively, with the fans we did something very special and that’s happened in other years here as well.
“We need the fans support that can come and help us, we’re playing Sydney FC, or Bling FC as we called them in the original era, so they’re a big club who will bring some fans so we need that voice behind us that will help us.
“I can guarantee the fans that the boys will give everything that they possibly have,” O’Sullivan said.
- The Mariners are undefeated in their last two games against Sydney FC (W1, D1), having picked up only a draw in their nine meetings prior (L8).
- The Mariners have won four of their last six games immediately after conceding five or more goals in the game prior (D1, L1).
- Sydney FC have lost their last two games in a row, the last time they lost more in succession was a three- game drought in October-November 2013.
- The Mariners made 38 and 40 clearances in their two previous games against Sydney FC this season, only twice in this campaign have they made more in a fixture.
- Sydney FC (8,889) have completed more passes this campaign than any other team, while only the Wanderers (79.3%) have a better passing accuracy than the Sky Blues (78.8%).
- Andrew Hoole has contested 330 duels this campaign, the second-most of any player in the competition; he’s won 155 of those duels.
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jake McGING, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Blake POWELL, 10.Danny De SILVA, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 18.Tom GLOVER (gk), 19.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 21.Kye ROWLES, 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Wout BRAMA (c) 24.Lachlan WALES, 27.Peter SKAPETIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Josh ROSE (promoted), 14.Adam BERRY (promoted) & 24.Lachlan WALES (promoted)
Outs: 5.Antony GOLEC (fractured tibia)
Unavailable: 5.Antony GOLEC (indefinite), 6.Tom HIARIEJ (indefinite), 15.Alan BARO (hamstring – 1 week)
Sydney FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2.Aaron CALVER, 3.Ben WARLAND, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI, 12.Fabio FERREIRA, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Anthony KALIK, 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.Chris ZUVELA, 20.Alex CISAK (GK), 26.Luke WILKSHIRE.
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Anthony KALIK, 19.Chris ZUVELA (both promoted), 26.Luke WILKSHIRE (return from illness).
Outs: 6.Josh BRILLANTE (international duty – 2 weeks).
Unavailable: 23.Rhyan GRANT (knee – indefinite).
Saturday , 24 March 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 24
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:35pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvSYD & #CCMFC