Mariners defence proving to be a weak point

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The Central Coast Mariners have signed another new defender in Zac Cairncross, who will act as an injury replacement for Brent Griffiths until December.

24-year-old Cairncross has joined the Mariners on a temporary basis from State League club Blacktown City, where he also played with newly-recruited Jacob Poscoliero.

Without reading too much into it, perhaps coach Phil Moss has decided to turn more of his attention to defence which, as we all saw in the first two rounds, had moments of fatal sloppiness.

Although fans are starting to see the fruits of the Mariners’ labour when it comes to their game structure, its also clear that without a solid defence to fall back on when dispossessed, it’s all too easy for the opposition to get through the gaps.

While Moss has been banging on about having “Fans on the edge of their seats” and “Getting lots of action through the upper third of the field”, strengthening their defence might be a wise move, especially in light of the fact that Moss’ striker of choice, Malick Mane, seems to be having a slightly harder time than anticipated finding the goal.

Which leads us to the other end of the field: defence. It’s not Cairncross’ first foray into the A-League, having played two games with Sydney FC in the 2009/10 season, so he will be hoping to make a lasting impression with the club for the chance of an extended contract.

“There are not too many chances going around (for the A-League) but Mossy has shown faith in a lot of State League boys and as their performances have shown we can all handle it,” Cairncross said.

It’s true, Poscoliero wasn’t afraid to step up during Saturday’s game against Wellington Phoenix, although a misjudged tackle caused the penalty which ultimately resulted in Michael McGlinchey scoring a goal against his old team.

However, Phil Moss didn’t have any qualms about Poscoliero’s game, and he is confident in Cairncross, too.

“He’s a great guy, he’s very committed, very dedicated, very professional, and he’s comfortable on the ball for a big boy,” Moss said.

It’s great that Moss is willing to give less experienced players a go, and after all, you need to develop younger players if you want great players in the future. His desire to make the game more visually exciting for fans can only be good for the A-League.

However, it’s obvious that the Mariners will need to work on the proverbial kinks in the chain if they’re to secure a spot in the A-League finals this season.

With two weeks off before they face Sydney FC, the squad has plenty of time to regroup and reorganise after their loss against the ‘Nix. 

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