Standards must stay high, says Arnold

CENTRAL Coast Mariners boss Graham Arnold believes his side has “achieved nothing” so far this Hyundai A-League season and has challenged his team to keep improving as the domestic campaign continues.

Pedj Peach! Photo: John Dewberry

CENTRAL Coast Mariners boss Graham Arnold believes his side has “achieved nothing” so far this Hyundai A-League season and has challenged his team to keep improving as the domestic campaign continues.

The Mariners consolidated their place atop the Hyundai A-League standings with a 2-0 win over Melbourne Heart at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday, but following the game Arnold told the media it is much too early start labelling their 2012/13 A-League season a success.

Pedj Bojic starred for the yellow and navy, his two second stanza strikes from outside the box securing the yellow and navy victory.

“As I said to the boys yesterday and just now, we-ve achieved nothing,” Arnold said.

“We-ve put ourselves in a great position to have a successful season but we-ve achieved nothing. They don-t hand trophies out in December, they hand them out at the end of March, April.

“There-s still 16 games to go and the players have set their own standards in terms of performance. The players know exactly what I want, and I won-t let up on them.

“There will be no complacency that will sneak into the dressing room.

“The players know that if they have one or two off games, there-s a good chance they won-t play next week.”

The festive period is full on for Arnold-s troops as they battle Wellington Phoenix (Away), Sydney FC (Away), Perth Glory (Home) and Western Sydney Wanderers (Away) in the space of just 16 summer days.

The former Qantas Socceroos mentor said his men are approaching the busy period with belief in themselves and each other.

“The players are extremely confident and when they-re getting the ball they-re seeing two or three pictures and more players available as well, which gives them more choices and better choices to make,” he said.

“When the field opens up a bit the likes of Tommy (Rogic), (Michael) McGlinchey and Bernie (Ibini) can just tear teams apart with ‘Rosey- (Joshua Rose) and Pedj (Bojic) coming from in behind.”

On Bojic-s two-goal, match winning effort, Arnold added: “You-ve got to give credit to the guy because he stays behind at training twice a week and practices (shooting) from just outside the penalty area.”

“He-s putting in the hard yards at training and when we get free kicks around the box he-s stepping up with confidence.

“Melbourne Heart must be sick of the sight of him because that-s three goals that he-s scored against them. He-s striking the ball well at the moment and full credit to him.”

Central Coast Mariners travel to the land of the long white cloud for Hyundai A-League round 12 next weekend. Arnold-s side face Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday 22 December.