Mariners Head Coach Alen Stajcic has declared his side won’t back down from any team in the competition, following a 2-0 loss to Melbourne City on Monday night at AAMI Park.
Goals to Jamie Maclaren and Nathaniel Atkinson were enough for City to claim the win, but Staj was still pleased with aspects of the performance and how the side responded in the second half.
“I thought we looked really good with the ball, made good chances there, good shout for a penalty as well, I was really pleased with how we came back into it second half,” he said.
“[We] started controlling the game and dominating the team that’s dominated everyone for the last 3 or 4 weeks.”
“I thought we looked good and dangerous in the second half, a bit unlucky not to get one from that deflection that came off Griffiths and then the penalty, you know one of those goes in, it changes the direction of the game.”
“They were the better team especially in the first half. They didn’t really create anything until the goal, I don’t think Birraz had to make a save in the first 30 or so minutes.”
“Even though they had some of the ball they weren’t really creating many chances. You know they created one then had a flurry after that, but Danny De Silva had a good chance at the end of the half as well, but second half we were much better other than transitions where we were going and pressing and trying to get a goal.”
The result evened the season score between the two teams with the Mariners having won 3-2 at Central Coast Stadium earlier in the campaign, and Staj said him and the side don’t fear any team in the competition.
“We’ve played them twice, we won one, they won one,” he said.
“I’m not scared of anyone to be honest; we haven’t played anyone yet that in two matches has got the wood on us.”
“We are the benchmark. I rank teams according to the ladder and runs on the board are runs on the board.”
“The table is there for a reason, that’s how we rank teams and at the moment we are still the best team in the competition and rightfully so apart from tonight, and the games we lost previously I thought we should have got points out of.”
The Mariners flew home on Tuesday, and preparations will begin immediately for Saturday’s match at Central Coast Stadium against Melbourne Victory, who remain rooted to the bottom of the A-League ladder.