The Mariners will play their final home game of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season when they host Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Stadium on Monday night.
It will be the third game of the season restart for Alen Stajcic’s side, and the challenge will be in a short turnaround from Friday’s goalless F3 Derby against the Jets, while for the Wanderers it will be a return to competitive football.
The two teams have met twice so far this season, first back in round one at Bankwest Stadium and then in round 17 when two late goals to the Wanderers ensured they picked up the three points.
Friday’s draw brought an end to an 11-match losing streak for the Mariners, while a 100th clean sheet for the club was a welcome reward for a strong defensive effort that Stajcic will hope to see continue into Monday’s clash.
Rotation will be important for Stajcic after two games in the space of a week, and he said the emphasis has been placed on recovery and rotation through this period.
Obviously recovery becomes the number one most important factor,” he said on Sunday.
“We have a number of boys who have played both of the matches now, but we did use the five substitutes well in both matches I thought, and we’ve managed the squad quite well and that’s shown in the way we have played in the second half.”
The slows starts are something that the boss is keen to work on, but he praised the impact of his substitutes in the matches so far and the impact they have had.
“It’s not as if we have started slow deliberately the last two matches, just that our quality has deserted us in that moment,” Stajcic said.
“We haven’t really worked our way into the game and one thing leads to another, you lose momentum and a bit of belief and the consequence is you start to lose periods of the match.
“Looking at the positves, people who have come on have really impacted the game and Nizzy was a great example of that the other night.”
“I thought Tommy Oar did well when he came on, Dylan [Ruiz-Diaz] has done well when coming on in both matches and Simmo did well in the first match when he came on so we’ve had some good impact there but the concern is that part in the middle of the first half where we’ve tended to lose momentum.”
The clash will also mark the final home game of the season for the Mariners, and with the season drawing to a close Staj said he hopes that promising signs from young players this season can be a starting point for the new generation.
“The other night we showed those few green shoots of young boys coming on and having an impact in the game, and they are going to be the foundation of this team over the next couple of years.”
"A lot of people have complained about the youth that have left this club, looking at guys like Matt Millar, Lachie Wales, Buhagiar and the list goes on and on and there needs to be a point where we put a stop to all that and start looking after the ones who have come through.”
“We need to protect what we’ve got and really build a solid foundation and this is the starting point, this year is that starting point.”
“And it’s not easy, it’s the hard yards that we’ve had to do as a team and as a club but I’m sure we’ll see the outcomes of all this and the flourishing of this team as time moves on.”
Match Details |
Monday, 27 July 2020
Central Coast Mariners v Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7:30pm (Local) (7:30pm (AEST))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Andrej Giev
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew McOrist
Fourth Official: Alireza Faghani
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 7.Milan ÐURIĆ, 8.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Daniel DESILVA, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Sam SILVERA, 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 19.Matt SIMON, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Jacob MELLING, 26.Joshua NISBET, 27.Lewis MILLER, 29.Jair BRITTO, 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ, 44.Alou KUOL
**2-4 to be omitted**
INS: 19. Matt SIMON (Return from INJURY), 21. Ruon TONGYIK (Return from Injury)
Unavailable: 9. Jordan MURRAY (Shoulder)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 4.Dylan MCGOWAN, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Matthew JURMAN, 7.Mitchell DUKE, 8.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 9.Nicolai MULLER, 10.Simon COX, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 13.Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, 16.Mathieu CORDIER, 17.Keanu BACCUS, 19.Pirmin SCHWEGLER, 22.Nicholas SULLIVAN, 27.KWAME YEBOAH, 28.Fabian MONGE, 33.Tate RUSSELL, 34.Patrick ZIEGLER, 35.MOHAMED ADAM, 40.Nicholas SUMAN (GK), 50.Tristan PRENDERGAST (GK).
Unavailable: 1.Daniel LOPAR (returned home), 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (shoulder), 29.Daniel WILMERING (knee).