Central Coast Mariners’ attacker, Blake Powell credited the influence of Paul Okon heading into the club’s Hyundai A-League round four clash against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Yellow & Navy are searching for their first three points of the campaign but Powell says there is no panic in the camp and the change room is full of positivity.
“We’re really positive and we believe in what we’re doing here,” Powell said. “If there’s still belief, we can win games so we are really looking forward to this weekend and hopefully getting some more points on the board.
“It will click, we know it will click. We’ve seen it in the past, Adelaide had a slow start last season and won it after going on a good run. We know we need to be a bit more consistent but we’re not far off,” Powell said.
The 25-year-old has been deployed in an unfamiliar number 10 role this season and says that he is working hard to master the combinations with the likes of Roy O’Donovan, Connor Pain & Fabio Ferreira.
“I know there’s a lot more improvement in my game to come, I’ve been doing extra work after training with Ivan [Jolic] working on getting in between two players, scanning, so as long as I keep working hard I’m sure it will come out in the games.
Saturday night’s match will be the Mariners first trip to Spotless Stadium to face the Wanderers. Last season in round 19, Powell managed a four-goal haul against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Parramatta where he had a hat trick to his name after just 33 minutes. Powell added a fourth to his tally in a day that saw the striker record the second fastest hat trick in Hyundai A-League history.
“It’s always good to play in front of a good crowd so we’re looking forward to the weekend. We don’t think about the crowd too much, we’ve got a plan that we stick to so we just go out there and stick to it which hopefully leads to a win.
“That day [when Powell scored four] it was about the players behind me giving those good balls to get in behind the defence but I think it was just one of those games where it all went my way.
Over the past seven weeks, Powell said the quality of training and lift in intensity has brought out the best in the Mariners’ squad under Head Coach Paul Okon.
“Paul Okon has come in and has worked wonders for the team,” Powell said. “From where we were to now is a massive improvement and I’m sure it will only get better as the season goes on.
“Our team is predominantly young players and he knows how to bring out the best I young players so he is going to be great for this club,” Okon said.