PREVIEW: Mariners vs. Adelaide

The Central Coast Mariners have arrived in Canberra and we caught up with Head Coach Paul Okon ahead of the Yellow & Navy's crucial clash with Adelaide United.

The Mariners are coming hot off the back of a 2-0 victory over Perth Glory at Central Coast Stadium and will be hopeful that they can record back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Their opponents, Adelaide United will be well prepared for the sweltering conditions of the ACT after having played out a 2-2 draw against Wellington Phoenix last week at Coopers Stadium in testing weather conditions.

Mariners’ supporters will fondly remember the last time we played Adelade United where Connor Pain fired home an absolute screamer after setting up Roy O’Donovan in a match where the Yellow & Navy recorded a 2-1 win away from home.

Paolo in the press

“The boys are looking good,” Okon said. “We’ve had a bit of a disruptive week with a number of boys away on Olyroo duty which we’re very proud of but it meant we had to miss them for most of the week. They’ve all come back in reasonably good condition which is positive and we look forward to a really important game for us, a game where we feel like if we can perform like we have on a number of occasions this season we are a very good chance of getting three points.

“I went on record last week and said that Binaz [Josh Bingham] has been a little bit unlucky that Roy’s been scoring and we’ve got a number of players in that front third so he’s missed out as a consequence but we were confident last week that he would do well and he scored a very important goal.

“Fab was one of our better players last weekend and has really settled into that number 10 position which is a bit different but I think in that position he has the freedom to move rather than the right wing where he might have to wait for the ball to get to him – he’s very good carrying the ball at speed when we’re in transition.

“We haven’t decided on how we’re going to set up against Adelaide but it just gives us that option knowing that Fab can play in that attacking midfield position.

“McGing gives us that real steel in midfield and he’s probably one of our fittest players – you’ve gotta run in the A-League and Jake gives us that. Rosey [Liam Rose] is very good on the ball, he’s composed playing out from the back, he sees passes and I’ve used him before at the Young Socceroos there and he’s done well so we feel that he contributes in that position so for the moment that’s where he’ll stay. But again that’s two young players who can play more than one position that gives you those options.

“This game is very important, it’s as important as the following nine games. We really do feel like we could be higher up the ladder. We strongly believe that performances like last week will bring us rewards. It’s about not looking too far ahead of ourselves – we haven’t managed back-to-back wins in a long time so it’s important that we play to the level we know we can, that we’re hungry, that we have that motivation and energy which we had last week and if we do that I am certain there’s something there for us.

“I don’t look at previous results or where they are on the ladder but we’re playing Adelaide the Champions, we’re not playing Adelaide at the bottom of the ladder. They have some good players, maybe they also feel that they could have more points on the board.

“Where we both are on the ladder could contribute to a really firey encounter.

“The message is to believe,” Okon said. “We’ve had belief in every game. I’ve often been asked how I keep the players motivated or how’s the confidence when you haven’t won in so long but motivation has never been an issue, that’s always been easy.

“We will continue to believe in what we’re doing, we’re playing some good football and we believe that results will come from that and hopefully Sunday is our fourth win of the season,” Okon said.

Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO,  5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN,  11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Jake McGING
**Two to be omitted**            

Ins: 5.Harry ASCROFT (promoted), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (return from suspension), 21.Michael NEILL (promoted)

Outs: 26.Steve WHYTE (not selected)

Unavailable: 10.Mickael TAVARES (ankle injury – indefinite), 19.Jacques FATY (hamstring – 1 week), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)

Adelaide United squad:  1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 8.ISAÍAS, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 13.Marc MARINO, 14.George MELLS, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Jordan O'DOHERTY
**two to be omitted**

Ins:  10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (returns from injury), 12.Mark OCHIENG (promoted), 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS (promoted), 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY (promoted)

Outs:  7.HENRIQUE (not selected), 22.Ryan KITTO (hamstring – 6-7 weeks)

Unavailable:  23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)

Match Details
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 18
Sunday 5 February 2017
Central Coast Mariners vs. Adelaide United
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Official hash-tags: #CCMvADL & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM & 92.5 ABC Central Coast

The Westfield W-League Semi-Final will be played after the Hyundai A-League action at GIO Stadium. Details are as follows:

Match Details
Westfield W-League Semi Final 2016/17
Sunday 5 February 2017
Canberra United vs. Melbourne City Women  
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
kick-off: 8:00pm (AEDT)
Official hash-tags: #CBRvMCY  
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505