Step in the right direction for Mariners says Walmsley

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The Central Coast Mariners slow start to the season has coach Tony Walmsley clinging to the faith that the team’s entertaining streak will translate into more goals in coming games.

The Mariners drew one-all with Wellington Phoenix in a slow but consistent game at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on Sunday in front of 6,460 fans.

Walmsley looked disappointed yet optimistic with the outcome, saying that the moment will come when his team will convert their attack-minded play into goals.

“We’re a side in the making and we’re relishing the freedom that we’ve got to go and attack teams.

“There’ll be a day when we convert far more and the belief then will grow.”

It is this attitude that the Mariners will take with them when they go up against the Newcastle Jets away from home next week.

“If we can use that as a platform to go to the Jets to get a result away from home, which will be the first time in a long, long time, then that will do wonders for us.”

Wellington coach Ernie Merrick said his focus for this match was to catch the Mariners on the counter-attack but he was pleased his team managed to score even one over the home team.

Merrick credited youngsters Rufer and Ridenton with giving the team fresh legs.

“Whoever we brought on all did a job and to go away with a point I was pretty happy.

“An away-from-home game against a team that are all about attack…we come away with a point and it’s a step in the right direction about being consistent, but we really have to get more numbers in the box.”

Both teams have conceded a number of goals so far this season, the Mariners with 11 against them and the Phoenix with nine. Walmsley puts this down to his teams audacious play and young plays who still need some fine-tuning.

“We want the players to embrace that and put the ball at risk in the final third, but there’s times when it’s turned over…physically, it can hurt you.”

Walmsley’s slightly sullen disposition could be attributed to the blow for the Mariners in the latter minutes of the game when Portuguese right-winger Fabio Ferreira copped a hamstring injury.

“Fab’s got a little hamstring niggle, so that’s the most disappointing part of today.

“I’m just hopeful that the scans tell us it’s a one or two weeker, nothing worse than that.”

A silver lining for the Mariners is the return of the suspended Nick Fitzgerald next week who might have proved useful against Wellington’s danger players Krishna and McGlinchey.

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Jade Toomey
A 20 year old Media and Law student trying to tame those stream-of-consciousness writing habits with an ickle bit of fun at the Central Coast Mariners.
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