Leading into the club’s clash against Wellington Phoenix, 19-year-old midfielder Liam Rose says that Okon has made his role with the Mariners very clear.
Before taking his role as Head Coach of the Central Coast Mariners, Okon was in charge of the Young Socceroos where he was able to work with Liam Rose in the Australian under 20s set up.
Speaking after training on Wednesday at the club’s Centre of Excellence, Liam Rose said the players are happy with the progress and football being played under Okon.
“We’re feeling really good,” Rose said. “Going down 4-1 against Wanderers at home doesn’t look good but the boys have been working hard on the paddock and we will be ready to go on Saturday against Wellington.
“We went in against the Wanderers very confident, we played quite well, we played good football so now we move on to hopefully get the three points against Wellington.
“I don’t think the score was a reflection of the game but when you’re missing players like Monty and Tavares it does take a big chunk of experience out of your team,” Rose said.
When asked about the departure of Wellington’s coach Ernie Merrick, Rose said it will have no impact on the Yellow & Navy and their preparation.
“We always try to just focus on ourselves and we won’t worry about what’s happening over there, that’s for them to worry about but we will just keep working on things that we can do better and put in a good performance on the weekend.
“Playing away and travelling is good, it’s always good fun. Travelling to New Zealand we will stay a couple of extra nights and get a session in over there before the game to get used to the conditions but we are all looking forward to it,” Rose said.
On Wednesday the club confirmed that Tavares will be missing for at least the next two weeks and admitted how much of a loss it is to the Mariners whilst also saying he relishes every minute he plays on the pitch.
“I want to play as much as I can,” Rose said. “In saying that Mickael is a massive loss for us, he’s very experienced, he’s a great player and when he’s in the team we work well.
“I will be doing my best for the team and hopefully we can start to win a few more games.
“Starting a game is a challenge, I always look forward to it. I’ve played under Paolo [Paul Okon] in this system before so I know what he wants from me personally so I try to do as much as I can for the team,” Rose said.
With 36 Hyundai A-League appearances to his name and the Mariners’ Medal, Rose also carries the advantage of knowing Paul Okon before he arrived at the Mariners and says that it has helped his game develop this season.
“Having played under Paolo I knew what he was bringing to this team, I think some of the boys weren’t aware but they can now see the passion he brings and the knowledge so we’re slowly getting there and it’s all coming good.
“We’re playing a possession based style of football which suits me well, that’s what I love most. We move the other teams around and we’re getting better at that each week,” Rose said.
“Bringing home three points from New Zealand would be unbelievable,” Rose said. “It’s a long trip but we want to go over there, put on a good performance and if we can get the three points it would be massive for us as a team,” Rose said.
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 10
Saturday 10 December 2016
Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: FMG Stadium Waikato, Waikato
Kick-off: 5:35pm (AEDT)
Official hash-tags: #WELvCCM & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM