This Saturday the Central Coast Mariners travel to South Australia to take on Adelaide United and we caught up with Paul Okon after the team’s final training session of the week.
For the Mariners, it’s their first game since February 4 due to the Hyundai A-League split round whilst Adelaide United haven’t played since their 2-1 win over Perth Glory on February 3.
This means that both sides come into the match with fresh minds, fresh bodies and even some returning faces.
In great news for the Mariners, Connor Pain is set to return from a hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined for the past five weeks. Captain, Alan Baro also returns from a one-week suspension.
For Adelaide, all eyes will be on their new Slovenian striker, Džengis Čavušević who arrives in the Hyundai A-League from FC Zürich, adding more firepower to Marco Kurz’s front third.
Paul Okon’s Mariners are eager to close the gap between themselves and sixth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder by claiming three points on the road to Adelaide.
The Mariners and Adelaide have already met twice this season where the Yellow & Navy were edged narrowly on both occasions (1-2 & 1-0).
Paolo in the press
(Playing away at Coopers Stadium…)
“Last season it was the place where we had our first win, we played there on Boxing Day this season and although we didn’t get the result we wanted we performed quite well. For us, it’s about making sure we get the process right and hoping it will produce a positive result.
(Adelaide’s danger man…)
“Isais is probably their main player. On most occasions they are quite direct, the get the ball out wide then and score a lot of goals by hitting people in the box so we’ve highlighted that. They’re a really solid team and they probably deserve to be where they are on the ladder.
(Mariners full of belief…)
“We’re feeling full of belief, it’s been no different to every game this season and on most occasions our performances have demonstrated that. We’ve been missing that final pass, that final ball, we know we need to score more goals. There are eight games to go and certainly the belief is there that we can win all eight if we can improve in those vital areas.
(Squad News: Providing Cover for Golec’s suspension…)
“At the moment there are a few solutions, we’ve got Josh Rose, Liam Rose and Jacob Poscoliero who are all in contention. We will finalise that later on tonight or tomorrow morning but we’re confident that one of those three can step up and do the job.
“It’s great to have Painy back, with Kwabena Appiah leaving us it meant we were a little bit short in the wide areas. Of course, we certainly missed Alan Baro last week, he is one of our most influential players and of course our captain so we are delighted to have him back and hopefully he will give us that confidence in defence,” Okon said.
- The last time there was a draw between these sides was in August 2010.
- Adelaide come into this game on the back of a brace of wins, the last time they won more in succession was a five-game glut from March to May 2016.
- Adelaide United have registered more shots than any other team so far in this campaign (282).
- Only Sydney FC (9,875) have recorded more passes this season than the Mariners (8,876).
- Isaias has made 51 interceptions this campaign, more than any other player, while his 1,063 pass attempts are the third-most of any player this season.
- Storm Roux is set to run out for his 100th A-League appearance;
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jake McGING, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Blake POWELL, 10.Danny De SILVA, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Alan BARO (c) 16.Liam ROSE, 18.Tom GLOVER (gk), 19.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 22.Jacob MELLING, 24.Lachlan WALES, 27.Peter SKAPETIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Josh ROSE (promoted), 11.Connor PAIN (return from injury), 15.Alan BARO (c) (return from suspension)
Outs: 5.Antony GOLEC (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 21.Kye ROWLES (foot injury) 23.Wout Brama (suspended – 1 week)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.ISAÍAS (C), 12.Mark OCHIENG, 14.George BLACKWOOD, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Ersan GÜLÜM, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS, 29.Ryan STRAIN, 37.Daniel ADLUNG, 77.Džengis ČAVUŠEVIĆ
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 12.Mark OCHIENG (promoted), 77.Džengis ČAVUŠEVIĆ (new signing)
Unavailable: 6.Vince LIA (knee), 9.Baba DIAWARA (quad), 11.Johan ABSALONSEN (gluteus), 21.Tarek ELRICH (knee - long term)
Saturday, 17 February 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 20
Match: Adelaide United vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501 & One
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #ADLvCCM & #CCMFC