After Friday’s training session, the Central Coast Mariners departed for Melbourne to take on Melbourne City in their last away fixture of the campaign. Ahead of their journey, we caught up with Caretaker Coach Wayne O’Sullivan.
After two games at the helm, O’Sullivan’s Mariners have fallen narrowly in two promising performances against Sydney FC and most recently Brisbane Roar. Without key players such as Danny De Silva, Antony Golec & Tom Hiariej O’Sullivan has been able to provide opportunities to other players who have taken their chances with both hands.
Liam Rose has been a standout performer over the past month in the absence of Hiariej whilst players from the academy are also being exposed to the rigours of the Hyundai A-League.
But this Saturday night the Mariners will need to be wary of a red-hot Melbourne City who are flying with two consecutive 3-0 wins to their names.
Last week 18-year-old academy attacker Jordan Smylie earned his A-League debut whilst another 18-year-old academy flyer in Peter Kekeris travelled with the team to Melbourne and could also claim the same honours.
(Positives to take from the past two performances…)
“We’ve discussed as a group the season so far,” O’Sullivan said. “We need to stay strong because we’ve deserved so much more as a group throughout the entire year which has been reflective in the last couple of weeks. Sydney in particular we were disappointed not to at least take a point from that one, then at Brisbane last week it was a struggle at times but in the second half we were solid in what we did.
“We’re disappointed with our last two results but attitude wise it’s been exceptional.
“We’ve acknowledged that we need to create more scoring chances – as a group it’s been a struggle all year that we haven’t created enough compared to other teams, Melbourne City are one of the leaders in that department so our challenge is to be more proactive in the front third.
(City’s red hot from two 3-0 wins…)
“We’ve analysed City, but in the last two weeks we’ve played two of the strongest strike forces in the league as well. It doesn’t get much harder than Sydney FC and we managed to limit their chances and create several chances for ourselves. Brisbane are also very heavy in the top third, in regards to where they spend their money. It’s no different with Melbourne City, we’ve looked at them and looked at what we can do and where we can pose them some threats so hopefully we can bring that to life.
(Josh Rose’s retirement…)
“I’ve known Rosey throughout his career, away from the Mariners as well. As a Mariner, he reflects everything that you want a Mariner to be. Having been here from the outset as an original Mariner, I can say he’s very reflective of our original culture that the Mariners should bring. He’s very much connected to the community and he gives his all every single game he’s played in his career.
“He’s a quality player and a quality person – it will be a proud couple of weeks for him and his family. He’s been a massive part of what the Mariners are all about and we hope that he has a great couple of weeks,” O’Sullivan said.
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (Gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3. Scott JAMIESON, 4. Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6.Osama MALIK, 7. Nick FITZGERALD, 8.Oliver BOZANIC, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Bruce Kamau, 13. Stefan MAUK, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 18. Eugene GALEKOVIC (Gk), 22. Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 26. Luke BRATTAN, 27. Marcin BUDZINSKI, 37.Nathaniel ATKINSON
**Two to be omitted**
Ins: 6. Osama MALIK (returns from injury), 11.Bruce KAMAU (promoted)
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jake McGING, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Blake POWELL, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Alan BARO (c), 16.Liam ROSE, 18.Tom GLOVER (gk), 21.Kye ROWLES, 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Wout BRAMA (c) 24.Lachlan WALES, 25.Peter KEKERIS, 27. Peter SKAPETIS
**Two to be omitted**
Ins: 14.Adam BERRY, 25.Peter KEKERIS, 27. Peter SKAPETIS
Outs: 29.Jordan SMYLIE
Unavailable: 5.Antony GOLEC (indefinite), 6.Tom HIARIEJ (indefinite), 10.Danny De SILVA (hamstring)
Saturday, 7 April 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 26
Match: Melbourne City vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 7:50pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501 & One
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #MCYvCCM & #CCMFC