Alen Stajcic: “You couldn’t write a better script if you tried”

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For Alen Stajcic the match had everything. And he’s right.

It was a historic night in Gosford as the Central Coast Mariners came back from a two goal deficit against Melbourne City to take all three points. It was also the 200th club appearance for the GOAT Matt Simon, who capped off his special night with a goal and an assist.

While Stajcic was disappointed with the two errors from his players that led to City goals, he praised his squad’s mentality to not drop their heads and give up. It was a game that the Mariners of past seasons would have lost, but Stajcic has changed things at the club, there is a confidence that has been missing for some time.

“Coming from behind like that just adds that rocket fuel to our belief and confidence heading into the rest of the season.”  – Stajcic

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“Real confidence comes from putting in the hard work and seeing the rewards from that, the boys are seeing those rewards now.”

The main story heading into the game was Simon making his 200th appearance for his hometown club and boy did he deliver. Simon was a handful all game for the City defence and while he may not be as prolific in front of goal as he used to be, he was certainly setting them up in this match.

Simon put in some fantastic crosses and combined well with his teammates through out the full 90 minutes.

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He ended up assisting Jaden Casella for his first ever A-League goal and then won a penalty which he smashed into the back of the net before celebrating in front of family and friends.

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Stajcic was full of praise for Simon, mentioning what a special night it was for him and what a performance he had.

“I think that everyone really bought into his spirit tonight and that helped us get over the line.”

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Both teams were coming off a loss and a short turn around of only two days rest. This was the third time the Mariners have had the short turn around and Stajcic knew City would struggle to adjust and adjusted his tactics to suit that.

“We have had a bit more experience with the short turn around, so I thought lets just go at them, put them under pressure and back ourselves.”

Stajcic also spoke highly of inform midfielder Daniel De Silva who scored the winning goal with an incredible long range effort after winning the ball in midfield. De Silva is well known in the A-League, but many suggest he has not lived up to his potential, however, it seems this may be the season he silences those critics for good.

“He’s a tremendous footballer and if he can keep up this consistency then we know he can be the footballer that people expected him to be” said Stajcic.

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The Mariners will hope to build on the momentum that this win has provided them as they next take on Western United at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday night.

Featured image credit: Central Coast Mariners

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Ben Johnston
Ben Johnston
I grew up on the Central Coast and fell in love with football in 2005. Supporter of Mariners, Manchester United and Macclesfield Town.

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