Paul Okon Previews New Year’s Eve

It’s the fixture that all Mariners fans look forward to, our New Year’s Eve showdown at Central Coast Stadium. Ahead of Sunday night’s hit out with Wellington Phoenix we caught up with Paul Okon. Kick-off is 7pm and KIDS GO FREE!

Heading into Sunday’s match, Paul Okon has welcome selection headaches across the board with all of his players available for selection.

Wout Brama and Jake McGing return from their one match suspensions and there are currently no injury concerns in the Mariners’ stable.

The Mariners are without a win in three games and will be hungry for three points to round out 2017. Last month the Mariners celebrated with a convincing 4-1 win over the Phoenix in Wellington and go into the match with fond memories over their opponent.  

Paul Okon’s Mariners completed their final training session of 2017 on Saturday where the Head Coach spoke with media.

Paolo in the Press

“It’s great to have everyone available for selection,” Okon said. “We’ve had a great week and a few good days of training after returning from Adelaide. Obviosuly we have some difficult decisions to make but we have a very busy schedule over the next five games so everyone is going to play their part.

“It’s impossible for everyone to play every minute but we’ve got a game on the sixth, a game on the ninth which involves an away trip to Melbourne and an #F3Derby so it’s about preparing. If you’re not selected you need to support the team and wait for your opportunity to play.

“We don’t feel like we’re doing too much wrong – we know we need to be more threatening in the final third. The fact that we haven’t scored in three games is evidence of that but we’re doing a lot of things right, we need to be a bit more ruthless, a bit braver, take a few more risks in the front third which hopefully we will do tomorrow evening.

“We haven’t had too many soft tissue injuries this season and I put that down to the pre-season we had and the medical staff have been superb. Our Strength & Conditioning Coach has got the boys to a level where we near the half way mark and everyone is fit and available – I’m not sure too many other teams have that. So hopefully that leads to us putting in more consistent performances.

“New Year’s Eve is a different sort of game, it’s the last game of 2017. It’s got that real family atmosphere to it, so I am sure that everyone is looking forward to the game but for us it’s another opportunity to take three points and it would be great to end the year on a high.

“During 2017 we’ve made some big steps forward but now it’s about being consistent in our performances and in the hope of winning more games. That’s not easy, I can’t fault the effort of anyone at the club. The mentality and the spirit of everyone to turn up every day and work to become better is evident and hopefully the new year will bring better results.

“Hopefully at the end of 90 minutes we end the year on 15 points – there is a lot more in us to give to improve our performances and we all agree that we should be winning more games,” Okon said.

Opta Stat Attack

  • The Mariners picked up a 4-1 win against Wellington in their last meeting, snapping a three- game losing streak against them in which they had not scored a single goal.
  • The Mariners are undefeated in their last five New Year’s Eve fixtures, including a 3-1 win against Wellington in 2015.
  • Wellington Phoenix have failed to score in their last four games away from home, never before in the A-League have they gone for five road games without a goal.
  • The Mariners have now failed to score in three consecutive games, the last time they went longer without a goal was a five-game drought from April to September in 2006.
  • Wellington Phoenix have scored nine headed goals this campaign, more than twice as many as any other team (Perth Glory - 4).
  • No player has completed as many dribbles as Andrew Hoole (32) this season, 12 more than Phoenix-best Roy Krishna (20).
  • Michael McGlinchey has been involved in three of the Phoenix’s last four goals away from home, scoring one and assisting one each for Gui Finkler and Dario Vidosic.

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.JakeMcGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Blake POWELL, 9.ASDRUBAL, 10.Daniel De SILVA, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 15.Alan BARO (c), 16. Liam ROSE, 18.Tom GLOVER (gk), 21.Kye ROWLES, 23.Wout BRAMA
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 23.Wout BRAMA (return from suspension), 4.Jake McGING (return from suspension)

Outs: nil

Unavailable: nil

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Goran PARACKI, 9.Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 17.Ali ABBAS, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 19.Tom DOYLE, 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Logan ROGERSON, 30.Keegan SMITH (gk)
**one to be omitted**

Ins: 17.Ali ABBAS (promoted), 21.Roy KRISHNA (returns from knee injury)

Outs: 11.Hamish WATSON (omitted)

Unavailable: 6.Dylan FOX (hamstring)

Match Details
Sunday, 31 December 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 13
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Wellington Phoenix FC
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 7:00pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvWEL & #CCMFC