Hiariej optimistic the Mariners can shock the Glory

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A true David vs. Goliath battle will take place this Sunday when the table topping Perth Glory travel to take on wooden spooners elect Central Coast Mariners.

Despite the two teams being at two very different ends of the A-League ladder, Tom Hiariej says the Mariners are optimistic about their chances this weekend.

Perth Glory make the trip to Gosford off the back of a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of the Melbourne Victory. Victory’s marquee men Honda and Ola Toivonen scored the goals as Melbourne defended gallantly to hold Perth scoreless for the first time in seven games.

The Mariners, meanwhile, are preparing for this match fresh off a 1-0 home defeat to the struggling Adelaide United. It took a brilliant finish from Isaias to defeat the Mariners, who probably should have scored a few of their own.

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“We fought until the end”, said Hiariej.

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“In the game we were very structured, and the defence was good. Now we have to do a little bit more on the ball.

“We always look at the positives from the last game, and I think we were the better team, so that’s what we will build on”.

The Mariners will have to build on those positives if they are to cause an upset in Gosford. Alternatively, they can hide the back-up goal posts in case we get a repeat of the last time the two sides met on New Year’s Eve.

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Perth will be desperate to bounce back from last week, where they were clearly the better team on the ball. 62% possession against the Victory, twice as many shots (23 to 10), but crucially, less goals. The defeat was felt harder by the Glory as it happened in front of their largest home crowd of the season, and one of the largest to ever witness the Perth Glory play in the A-League.

Hiariej is confident Perth will be looking to come back strong, but he admits there may be opportunities for the Mariners to use Victory’s win as a blueprint.

“I think Perth are the best team in the league this season”, he said.

“They’re very structured and play good football. They lost last week against the Victory, so there are some opportunities for us to score.

“We have to play our best to make it a tough game for them and hopefully we can get a win.

“They are top of the league, we are bottom, and I think they’ll be saying in the dressing room ‘we’re going to the Mariners, we have to win’, and we want to finish the season with a couple of wins so it’s going to be a nice battle”.

Hiariej also admits the team want to win as many of the remaining four games as possible for their fans.

“That’s the main goal of this game. We want to show some competition to Perth Glory, and even better if we get a win for the supporters, the fans”, Hiariej said.

“The most important thing for the next four games is to give the fans something back for their support.

“I think we are ready for it”.

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Cameron Smith
Football writer and radio presenter. Loves everything football (well, except Italian's diving since '06).