The Central Coast Mariners brought a 659 day win-less run away from home to an end with a 3-1 victory over Wellington Phoenix and this weekend the Yellow & Navy head to Suncorp Stadium to face Brisbane Roar.
With Luis Garcia scoring a goal of his own and playing a massive hand in another three in just 70 minutes of football, his impact off the bench will again prove key to packing a powerful punch when Tony Walmsley decides to dispatch the Spanish attacking ace.
There are some selection headaches facing Walmsley who welcomes the return of Club Captain Nick Montgomery and young gun defender Harry Ascroft from suspension.
Coming hot off the back of a 3-1 win in Christchurch it will be interesting to see how the return of Montgomery & Ascroft will see Walmsley tweak his squad.
“We’ve got a fair bit to prove against Brisbane, they’re up towards the top of the table for a reason with a cutting edge up front so we’re going to have to be at our very best in order to compete,” Walmsley said.
“We’re going there with a lot of confidence because we’ve scored 11 goals in our last five games and we know we can have an impact with the ball, we just have to keep them out.
“Ascroft and Montgomery are two of our top ball winners and to go and win in New Zealand without those two is a testament to where everybody else is at.
“At this stage of the season players start to carry niggles and with our abundance of attacking options we want to make sure that the fittest players take the pitch tomorrow so we’re taking the extra player to have that extra day to make sure the first XI we put out has the best balance to take Brisbane on.
“It’s not surreal working with Luis Garcia, it’s surreal seeing what he can actually do. You’ve got a world class player training here at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence and he shows in every possession drill a range of unbelievable techniques and awareness that give him time when there’s no time available to anyone else.”
“It was disappointing to miss last week’s fantastic win against Wellington, three great goals and Luis coming on at half time changed the game,” Montgomery said.
“I’m really proud of the boys, it’s been a good week in training, the boys are all refreshed now and we look forward to the game.
“Brisbane are a good team, they attack well and they keep the ball well. If we can perform the way we can we will give them something to worry about.
“I start every season to lead by example and play as many games as I can, a big part of my game is getting around the park and to teach these young boys about hard work and putting in as much effort as they can.”
- Brisbane Roar have won their last four matches against the Mariners, a fifth straight win would equal their longest streak against a single club in the Hyundai A-League (5 v Perth, Wellington).
- After a win away to Wellington, the Mariners will be hunting for consecutive away victories in the Hyundai A-League for the first time since November 2012.
- Brisbane has scored eight goals in their last two home matches against the Mariners, conceding only two in the process.
- This match pits the team to have made the most fouls in the Hyundai A-League this season (Central Coast Mariners – 287) against the team to have made the fewest (Brisbane Roar – 217).
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO
**two to be omitted**
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Paul IZZO (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 10.Luis GARCIA, 13.Alastair BRAY (GK) 15.Brad McDONALD, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Francesco STELLA, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 23.Tomislav USKOK, 28.Matthew FLETCHER
**two to be omitted**
Saturday, 6 February 2016
Brisbane Roar FC v Central Coast Mariners
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 4:15 PM (Local) (5:15 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Matthew Conger
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT)
Radio Broadcast: Coast FM 96.3 (Central Coast)
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