The Central Coast Mariners are back at home this Sunday, hosting Melbourne City. Kick-off is 5pm and kids go FREE!
Ahead of the Hyundai A-League Round 16 clash, Paul Okon spoke with media about taking on one of the competition’s heavyweights with seven of his players unavailable for selection.
The Yellow & Navy are coming off the back of a gutsy performance which saw them edge the Newcastle Jets for majority of the match before they were reduced to 10-men.
A talking point over the past two weeks has been the contribution of 20-year-old Terrigal junior Lachlan Wales who delivered the assist for Blake Powell to equalise against Melbourne Victory and terrorised the Newcastle defence the following match.
The Mariners’ are eager to earn three points in their first home match of 2018 in front of a vocal Central Coast Stadium. Okon’s side have created chances with ease over the past two weeks, but will need to capitalise on Sunday to down Melbourne City.
City are full of confidence after back-to-back wins against Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix.
Paolo in the Press
(Reflection on the #F3Derby)
“We always knew that this period was going to be tough with so many games in quick succession,” Okon said. “Our stocks will be tested but we are confident that we will still be able to perform on Sunday and put out a team that will get the job done.
“I don’t think anyone will disagree that we were in full control up until that red card [in the #F3Derby] we were our own worst enemy, where we don’t convert our opportunities. The boys fought very hard after a three-day turnaround – their energy and intensity was tremendous. Even when we went down to 10 we still found a bit in the tank to create one or two really good opportunities. It’s disappointing that we didn’t take our chances, you can only encourage the boys to keep going and hopefully, soon enough those moments that are so important in a game will start to turn for us.
(Thoughts on Lachie Wales…)
“Lachie [Wales] has been doing very well. He’s a real fit young boy which is important, the A-League is a unique competition, it’s played in summer on hard grounds and tough conditions so you need to be up for it physically and Lachie has those qualities. It’s no surprise to us that he’s performed the way he has. For Lachie it’s about maximizing every opportunity that he gets. On Sunday, there’s a big chance that he will start. We still don’t know physically who will be able to play but if Lachie does start or come off the bench we are confident that his contribution will continue based off the last two games.
“For us it’s a great story. But it’s a story that’s only at the beginning. The fact that Lachie is a local makes it even sweeter. At the end, you have to have the talent, you need to have the work ethic – it can’t be just because you’re a local kid and Lachie at the moment is ticking all the boxes that are required to put yourself in contention. He needs to work hard, not get too far ahead of himself, he’s improved a lot and we feel he’s in the right environment to get even better so we’re delighted to be able to give him that opportunity)
(The team’s focus…)
“For us it’s about consistency. We’ve had two good performances in our last two games. Victory away was very tough in the conditions and Tuesday against the Jets in the derby our performance was one of the best all season. We need to find that consistency. Everyone tells me the results will follow so hopefully that’s the case. We won’t give up trying to achieve that and hopefully a bit of luck comes our way as well.
(The influence of Mariners’ supporters…)
“The support from our fans has been great. It shows great trust in what we’re doing and what we’re trying to achieve. The end result on Tuesday wasn’t what the supporters deserved, or what we deserved – as long as we continue to do that, hopefully the supporters continue to show the support that they have.
- Melbourne City have won four games away from home so far in 2017/18, never before in A-League history have they managed more in a single campaign.
- The Mariners have conceded just six first-half goals this season, fewer than any other team in the competition.
- Melbourne City have had 24 shots on target from outside the box this season, more than any other team in the competition.
- Andrew Hoole has been fouled 38 times this season, the third-most frequent of any player.
- Ross McCormack has recorded 11 shots on target from outside the box this season, two more than any other player.
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (Gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 8.Blake POWELL, 9.ASDRUBAL, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Alan BARO (c), 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Adam PEARCE (Gk), 21.Kye ROWLES, 22.Jacob MELLING, 24.Lachlan WALES, 25.Peter KEKERIS, 26.Jack KUIPERS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 14.Adam BERRY (promoted), 16.Liam ROSE (promoted), 17.Josh BINGHAM (promoted), 21.Kye ROWLES (promoted), 25.Peter KEKERIS (promoted), 26.Jack KUIPERS (promoted)
Outs: 3.Josh ROSE (suspended – 1 week), 7.Andrew HOOLE (suspended – 1 week), 11.Connor PAIN (hamstring – indefinite), 23.Wout BRAMA (hamstring – 1 week)
Unavailable: 10.Daniel De SILVA (international duty), 18.Tom GLOVER (Gk) (international duty), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (international duty)
Melbourne City FC Squad: 1.Dean Bouzanis, 2.Manny Muscat, 3. Scott Jamieson, 4.Harrison Delbridge, 5. Bart Schenkeveld, 6.Osama Malik, 7. Nick Fitzgerald, 10.Dario Vidosic, 14.Daniel Arzani, 18. Eugene Galekovic, 22. Michael Jakobsen, 25. Iacopo La Rocca, 26. Luke Brattan, 27. Marcin Budzinski, 34.Connor Metcalfe, 35.Ramy Najjarine, 37.Nathaniel Atkinson, 44. Ross McCormack
Ins: 25. Iacopo La Rocca (promoted), 34.Connor Metcalfe (promoted), 35. Ramy Najjarine (promoted)
Outs: 9.Marcelo Carrusca (omitted)
Unavailable: 11.Bruce Kamau (international duty), 13.Stefan Mauk (international duty), 21. Ruon Tongyik (international duty), 23. Bruno Fornaroli (ankle)
Sunday, 14 January 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 14
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne City
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA 501
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvMCY & #CCMFC