After settling into Christchurch with a training session, the Central Coast Mariners are set to take on Wellington Phoenix in a home game away from home for the Kiwis on Saturday night. Kick-off is 5:15pm (AEDT)
Head Coach Tony Walmsley, Fabio Ferreira and Luis Garcia previewed the upcoming Hyundai A-League hit out.
“Wellington away is always going to be tough, they win battles at the best of times and they’re a very resilient team. They’ve got good quality going forward in the likes of Bonevacia and McGlinchey so we’re under no illusions that the task is enormous,” Walmsley said.
“You take Monty & Ascroft out of our team who have been two of our most commanding ball winners but I’m excited, the mood is fantastic, we’ve got new players, there’s a freshness about us.
“It’s not Wellington, we’re playing in Christchurch so it’s not really a home venue for them which brings that lack of certainty when you’re the home side playing in an unfamiliar venue.
“We need to replace Monty’s engine so Mickey Neill will push back into midfield where he has been outstanding.
“Luis Garcia produces moments of absolute sublime quality at every training session that in a game, is a goal for us. He’s not too far away from starting for us.”
“I’m really confident, the beauty now is that we’ve got a squad that’s fully committed and we know are going to put in a massive shift whenever they take the field and I wasn’t able to say that a few weeks ago.”
“I’m very honoured to take the Captaincy for this game, we are confident in going there and winning the game, obviously it’s going to be a hard game but we will do our best to go there and get the three points,” Ferreira said.
“I feel fantastic, everybody is happy and with Luis coming in, it brings a new energy and a lot of confidence.
“The younger players will learn a lot from him, myself included we will all learn a lot so everybody is very happy to have him around and very excited about it.”
“We don’t want to rush things which is quite important because I’ve been quite a while without training but I feel very good this week and hopefully I can get some more minutes this weekend,” Garcia said.
“The most important thing is that the team is doing well, they looked very good last weekend.
“The three points this weekend is very important for the team, I really enjoyed last week. There was a very good tempo in the game and in the second half we were better.”
- Three of the past four iterations of this fixture on Phoenix home turf have ended in a 1-1 draw.
- Central Coast Mariners have conceded only two goals in their last two matches against Wellington, though neither team has kept a clean sheet in the last seven matches they’ve clashed.
- Wellington Phoenix have gained 10 points from losing positions this season; two more points than any other side.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Paul IZZO (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 7.Fabio FERREIRA (c), 10.Luis GARCIA, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 15.Brad McDONALD, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Francesco STELLA, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 23.Tomislav USKOK, 28.Matthew FLETCHER, 40.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK)
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Saturday 30 January 2016
Match: Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: AMI Stadium, Christchurch
Kick-off: 5:15pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #WELvCCM & #CCMFC