Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Paul Okon is excited to play in front of the Mariners’ fans tomorrow at Central Coast Stadium after two weeks on the road.
Speaking at Central Coast Stadium after the club’s final session ahead of their first home match of the season against Brisbane Roar, Okon wants to create an environment that away teams fear.
The Mariners and Roar staged second-half comebacks to earn a point each in Round 1 which counted for little last weekend with both sides suffering defeats.
Paul Okon and John Aloisi were both quick to point out that the scoreboard was not a true reflection of their contests but they’ll be eager nonetheless to turn the page on these results.
Despite only being two rounds into the new season it’s evident the Yellow & Navy have vastly changed their style under Okon. The Mariners boast the highest possession rate of any team in the competition but have been letting themselves down with some “schoolboy errors,” that Okon is keen to stamp out.
The Mariners haven’t played at Central Coast Stadium in 196 days so Paolo’s men will be eager to put in a strong performance for the Central Coast faithful.
“I hope to see a wall of yellow,” Okon said. “Whether that be shirts or scarves and a little bit of noise we want this place to be as intimidating as possible because it’s important when you play at home that oppositions teams travel here and feel as uncomfortable as possible.
“So hopefully that’s the scenario we create at Central Coast Stadium and we are really looking forward to playing here tomorrow,” Okon said.
When asked about Brisbane, Okon identified their experienced and dangerous run of players.
“Brisbane are a very good footballing side, if you give them space they will pass through you, they’ve got speed, they’ve got experienced players like Brett Holman who finds pockets of space and can score goals from inside or outside the box. They have threats everywhere and I guess it’s up to us to not lose the ball in dangerous areas and don’t make silly mistakes,” Okon said.
After a strong week on the training track Fabio Ferreira is set to make his first appearance of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season and Paolo says he isn’t the only one happy to welcome him back.
“I think the whole playing group and all the supporters will be happy to see Fabio Ferreira back,” Okon said. “Fab’s an important player in our squad but Trent’s done a great job so whether Trent starts or Fab starts, as a coach you want to have those luxuries.
“If Fab does start I assume he won’t be able to play the whole game given his fitness and we want to protect him a little bit so maybe we will pass the baton to Trent for the last 30, if you’re a left full back in the last 30 minutes you don’t want Trent running at you with that sort of speed,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Mickael TAVARES, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Brad McDONALD, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 25.Ryan PETERSON
**three to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Fabio FERREIRA (return from injury), 15.Brad McDONALD (promoted), 17.Josh BINGHAM (promoted)
Outs: 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (quad strain – 1 week)
Unavailable: 16.Liam ROSE (international duty – 2 weeks), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 26.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 17.Matt MCKAY (returns from suspension), 33.Joey KATEBIAN (promoted)
Unavailable: 23.Dimitri PETRATOS (ankle – 1 week), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (international duty – 2 weeks)
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 3
Saturday 22 October 2016
Central Coast Mariners vs. Brisbane Roar
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
kick-off: 5:35pm (AEDT)
Official hash-tags: #CCMvBRI & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM