Wilko: "We'll grow and grow"

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson believes the Mariners will grow in stature having earned their first win of 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season against Perth Glory at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday night.

Central Coast captain Alex Wilkinson believes the Mariners will grow in stature having earned their first win of 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season against Perth Glory at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday night.

The yellow and navy came from behind to defeat the purple-whites 2-1 at the weekend, with goals to Matt Simon and youngster Bernie Ibini cancelling out Travis Dodd-s opener.

“I think the boys are going to grow and grow in confidence a lot [following the win],” Wilkinson said.

“I think after the first goal the heads could of gone down again, but to the boys- credit we really dug in and clawed our way back.”

“That-s the Mariners- spirit, and that-s something we pride ourselves on.”

Wilkinson knows his team will need to take that same colossal character across the ditch when his team faces Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium this Friday.

It was against the Phoenix in the Mariners- pre-season friendly that Wilkinson initially fractured his right forearm, however the defender holds no grudges and is simply delighted to be back on the park.

“It has been frustrating, but obviously you can-t rush back,” he said.

“It-s a long season, and it [the recovery time] was always going to be between four and six weeks.”

“I-m just happy to be back and happy to get the first win.”

Wilkinson knows his team will need to replicate the swift ball play and transitions evident against the Glory, if they are to return from the Kiwi capital victorious.

“The movement and passing against Perth was much quicker, and I think that-s sort of where we-ve been lacking in the last couple of weeks.”

“It was much better and than in previous weeks which allowed us to get in behind them and create a number of opportunities.”

“We-ll need to do that, and more, against the Phoenix who are always extremely difficult to play against on their home turf,” he said.