Don't write Mariners off warns Arnold
By Liam Howitt
GOSFORD, NSW, April 4 AAP – Coach Graham Arnold had an emphatic message for those keen to dismiss his battle-weary Central Coast Mariners ahead of the return leg of the major A-League semi-final against Brisbane Roar on Sunday in Gosford.
Arnold was brimming with pride after the 10-man Mariners hung tough for a 1-1 draw with South Korea’s Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma on Tuesday, just three days after their 0-2 first leg loss to the Roar in Brisbane.
“As you saw in that second half last night, there’s plenty of ticker in that dressing room, plenty of character. Don’t write us off yet,” said Arnold on Wednesday.
“They’re out on their feet, they’ll do recovery and on Thursday they will have their first day off in a long time, and we will get ready for Sunday.”
The Mariners did it extra tough in Tuesday’s Asian Champions League match, playing a man down for most of the second half after defender Josh Rose was shown a straight red card.
The outcome left the two teams tied second in the four-team Group G with three draws each from three games.
Arnold was pleased with the result that still has them in contention for a spot in the knock-out stages with three games to play.
“At the start of the year we wrote down on the whiteboard that we are in three competitions. The A-League, the (A-League) semi-final series, and the ACL,” said Arnold.
“We have a huge respect for the Asian Champions League and we have a responsibility to perform not only for the A-League but the whole of Australia.”
04 Apr 9:52 PM