Mariners making the most of the break

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The Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC will meet for the second time this season as the A-League resumes after the Asian Cup break, with their last clash in round 3 resulting in a 2-0 defeat for the yellow and navy at Allianz Stadium.

The boys have been busy preparing for the upcoming game; they’ve had time to reassess their game strategy, their strengths and weaknesses, and train hard. They have been able to use this time to work in new recruit Travis Major into their offensive line-up and have secured Nick Montgomery and Nick Fitzgerald for another two seasons.

The Mariners have also secured 18-year-old recruit Dejan Pandurevic until the end of the season, who has come from a stint with the Nike Academy in the United Kingdom.

“It was a great feeling when Mossy called and told me the news,” Pandurevic said.

It’s my first professional contract, and it’s fantastic news for myself, my family and is a great reward after all my hard work over the years. It’s fantastic to make it as a professional.”

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Before the break for the Asian Cup, the yellow and navy had just secured their first win in 13 games, a 2-0 victory over Melbourne City.

Although they came into the break on a high, the match against Sydney will be a testament as to whether or not the boys have been successful in keeping momentum going and the desire to win strong.

“It’s a sign that 2015 is going to be a better year than the end of 2014…we’ve all been working hard but lets not get carried away,” Moss said of their most recent games against the Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City.

Let’s hope the season does improve for the Mariners, who have been riddled with injuries and the departure of their best hopes for goal scorers.

While Nick Montgomery and Matt Simon are back from injury for the game against Sydney, left-back Michael Neill still remains on the bench, with Moss confirming that his foot injury would only been assessed as of the 20th of January.

In the best of circumstances, he will be back to play for the remainder of the season – at worst, he will have to watch his teammates from the sidelines.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed that it’s not too long term but certainly he’s a loss because he’s been playing very well and injected a lot of good things from left back both defensively and offensively,” Moss said of Neill.

Sydney, on the other side, have not won their last seven games, and have not scored in their last four, however still hold onto fifth place on the A-League ladder with 17 points while the Mariners remain at eighth place on 12 points.

It’s not only the second time the teams will meet, but the second time buddies and former coaching duo Phil Moss and Graham Arnold will come head to head. Let’s hope Moss has something to show his former mentor this time.

It will be a welcome win to either side, but a positive result at home for the Mariners might make all the difference in boosting their morale for the remainder of the season.

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