The Central Coast Mariners have arrived in Wellington for their battle with the Phoenix and we caught up with Head Coach Mike Mulvey to preview Hyundai A-League Round 8.
With two draws to their name, the Mariners are still chasing that first win of their 2018/19 campaign and will need to turn their fortunes around after a 2-0 loss to the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Wellington however, have entered a run of form with a draw at home against Perth Glory followed by a resounding 3-1 win over Sydney FC away from home.
The message from Mike Mulvey to his players this week has been clear: we must use this fixture to get points on the board.
Mulvey in the media
Reflecting on last week’s game against Western Sydney…
“No complaints. We don’t use excuses at all. At the end of the day Western Sydney got the important first goal if we got the early goal, I’m sure that the result probably could’ve been different. At the end of the day we own it and we move on.
“I said last week that the most important thing is the environment that we set and that we keep belief amongst the squad and everyday in training I see the guys putting in the effort and hard work.
“We are trying to solve the problems that we have in terms of build-up, defending. At the end of the day the lads are very proud people as well as footballers and it hurts to be where we are right now, but we are determined, we will not drop our heads and that starts with me. I will not allow anybody feel sorry for themselves because at the end of the day what does that achieve.”
Jordan Murray’s return from injury…
“Jordan was one of the lads we plucked from NPL and I think that he is an exciting prospect and he’s chomping at the bit and I think he deserves his opportunity.
The trip to Wellington…
“Wellington Phoenix have some good players and it’s a very difficult place to go to and play football. They’re a proud team, a proud country and we are looking forward to going there. There is no easy game in the A-League, you have to front up and battle to get anything that you want to achieve in the game. We’re going there, we are going to give them a good game, be competitive and hopefully we get some luck our way this week.
“The last two games they have played well. They played Perth at home, drew 1-1, very unlucky at the end but if you draw a line with our game against Perth it’s very similar. We took them right to the end. They have the home advantage, we need to travel, front up and man up and that’s what we intend to do.
That elusive first win…
“At the end of the day the league is very tight. There are ten teams that on any given day one team can beat the next team. What we are low on is confidence and you get that by winning games, so we are just looking fairly and squarely at the Wellington game as an opportunity to get points on the board.
“We are not looking at the table and asking what is going on, we are battling for the Central Coast and we want the fans behind us like they were for the Sydney match, it was a fantastic atmosphere and if the fans stick by us these guys will deliver, I’m sure.
Opta Stat Attack
- Each of the last five games between Phoenix and the Mariners has seen the same result at both half time and full time.
- The Mariners have won two of their last four games against Wellington in New Zealand scoring 3+ goals in each of those two victories.
- Wellington are winless in their last three games at home – the last time they went longer without a win at home was a four-game stretch between January – March in 2017.
- Defeat for Central Coast Mariners in this fixture would mark their 14th consecutive game without a win, equaling their longest drought in A-League history (D3. L11 – Feb to Oct in 2016).
- The Mariners are the only team in the A-League yet to keep a clean sheet this season, however their last two clean sheets have come against the Phoenix.
- Roy Krishna has a shot conversion rate of 29% this campaign, the best of any player in the league that has made at least 10 shots
- Jack Clisby has delivered more crosses in open play than any other player this campaign
Central Coast Mariners squad: 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 13.Aiden O’NEILL, 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Josh MACDONALD, 17.Peter KEKERIS,18.Matt MILLAR, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 20.Kalifa CISSE, 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Mario SHABOW, 24.Joe GAUCI (gk), 25.Jordan MURRAY
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Josh MACDONALD (promoted), 17.Peter KEKERIS, 24.Joe GAUCI (promoted), 25.Jordan MURRAY (return from injury)
Outs: 1.Ben KENNEDY (leg injury) & 6.Tom HIARIEJ (calf injury)
Unavailable: 10.Tommy OAR (knee), 21.Corey GAMEIRO (calf), 44.Ross McCORMACK (knee)
Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1.Filip KURTO, 4.Mandi SOSA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 6.Dylan FOX, 8.Mitch NICHOLS, 9.Nathan BURNS, 11.David WILLIAMS, 13.Liberato CACACE, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.Michal KOPZCYNSKI, 16.Louis FENTON, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Max BURGESS, 27.Steven TAYLOR,
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 1.Filip Kurto (Return from injury) 5.Ryan LOWRY (Return from suspension) 8.Mitch NICHOLS (promoted)
Outs: 40.Ante Covic (gk) (injury replacement period ended)
Saturday, 15 December 2018
Hyundai A-League Round 8
Match: Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: Westpac Stadium
Kick-off: 5:35pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #WELvCCM & #CCMFC