The post game silence

You can often see the standards a team sets for itself by the reaction to a result in the dressing room after the game.

The Moss Pitt

YOU can often see the standards a team sets for itself by the reaction to a result in the dressing room after the game.

So to see our players in the sheds at fulltime following last Saturday night-s scoreless draw against competition heavyweights Melbourne Victory genuinely looking like they had just lost the game left me in no doubt our standards remain intact. You could hear a pin drop!

Let-s be honest, in front of a bumper 10,500-plus Bluetongue Stadium crowd we played Victory off the park for long periods but just couldn-t find the killer blow.

Our build-up play from the back through midfield was the best it-s been so far this campaign. It was just the final pass in the attacking third that cost us what would have been a well-deserved win.

That point was made clear by head coach Graham Arnold and skipper Alex Wilkinson post-match and the pleasing aspect of the post-mortem is that every single player took responsibility for it.

This week, leading into tomorrow night-s highly anticipated derby with Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium, a real focus has been on how we shift the ball into the top third and what we do with it once we get it there.

Make no mistake though it-s our defensive structure from front to back that has earned us 8 points so far this season and while using the ball smarter has been a catch-cry this week, the former has certainly not been ignored.

Sydney sit on 11 points following a gutsy 1-0 win over Perth Glory in the west last weekend. That was a week after coming from 2-0 down to beat Gold Coast 3-2 at home. They will be a hard nut to crack given the form they are in and the confidence their recent results will have given them but it-s just the challenge the Mariners thrive on.

Don-t miss what should be an intriguing chapter of the Mariners-Sydney FC story tomorrow night. Kick-off is 7.45pm.