The Central Coast Mariners are full of confidence after their come from behind 3-3 draw against Perth Glory but Paul Okon insists that all the pressure is on Sydney FC.
Speaking before the Mariners last training session of the week at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Okon said the intensity of training has remained high and the Yellow & Navy will travel to Allianz Stadium to win.
“The back half of this week has been intense as we move into preparations,” Okon said. “The first part of the week is about recovery after the long trip home from Perth.
“We’ve been working on a few things and we need to be better in the defensive moments because we were disappointed to concede three goals.
“Sydney are a very good team, it’s not easy to score four goals in a derby. It’s a tough game but every week there will be a new challenge so it will be something that we embrace and look forward to.
“The pressure’s not on us, no one really rates us so we will travel to Sydney with confidence and play our football the way we want to play,” Okon said.
There are a range of players from each club who will face off against their old club and Okon said that it will be a special moment for all of them.
“As a player it’s always a special game to come up against your old team,” Okon said. “Everyone still has friends at their old club and that’s the good thing about football.
“Fabio Ferreira is still working his way back to full fitness so we are yet to decide whether he will start, come off the bench or just miss out. We need everyone at 200 percent,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners striker Roy O’Donovan scored twice against Perth Glory and credited Paul Okon’s coaching style and the team’s mentality on the training track.
“It was a good way to start the season and I think the point was worth more than a win just for morale and confidence,” O’Donovan said. “A good start for me, a good start for the team and hopefully we can keep it going into Saturday against Sydney.
“As a striker it’s always nice to score goals, doesn’t matter when and doesn’t matter how. I’ve gotta thank my team mates for that with some great assists and hopefully plenty more.
“Painy & Powelly are great signings and Trent Buhagiar did very well which bodes very well even with Fabio out of the team it’s good to see we have players that can step up.
“Monty and I had a chat and we’ve never seen such a hungry group of lads, really young and ambitious – this is the right coach for us. He wants to push us, he wants to challenge us and it’s going to pay dividends.
“Sydney will be buzzing, everything’s going well for them, their marquees are scoring. They’ll be full of confidence and it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to,” O’Donovan said.
Sydney FC squad: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 3.Riley WOODCOCK, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Bobô, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Sebastian RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Riley WOODCOCK (promoted), 11.Bernie IBINI (promoted)
Unavailable: 16.George TIMOTHEOU, 19.George BLACKWOOD (international duty)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Mickael TAVARES, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Brad McDONALD, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 25.Ryan PETERSON
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.Fabio FERREIRA (return from injury), 15.Brad McDONALD (promoted)
Unavailable: 16.Liam Rose (international duty – 3 weeks), 23.Jake Adelson (ACL – indefinite)
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 2
Saturday 15 October 2016
Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
kick-off: 5:35pm (AEDT)
Official hash-tags: #SYDvCCM & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM