Match Preview: Garcia looking to “iron out kinks” in Mariners clash

Glory v CCM 2021 - Bruno Fornaroli battling

Richard Garcia has confirmed that improving his side’s defensive focus has been a key part of the preparations for Sunday’s clash with A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners in Gosford (kick-off at 1.05pm WST).


Glory have dominated for long periods in each of their last two outings, the first of which was against the Mariners at HBF Park, but have emerged pointless having been stung by counter-attacks.

And as the men in purple set out to avenge that first home defeat of the season, Garcia is looking to add greater solidity to dovetail with the attacking flair which has proved so potent thus far this term.

“We don’t want to be playing catch-up, we want to be getting as many points on the board as soon as possible,” he said.

“But at the same time, we’re trying to iron out our kinks and make sure that we’re all on the same page playing-wise.

“If you look at the two games we’ve lost, it’s been simple errors from defending when we’ve dominated the games.

“So for me, we’re heading in the right direction.

“There’s been some real quality shown, but there are always going to be dips and I don’t feel that we’ve played poorly in the games; I feel that we’ve played really well.

“That’s got to continue and we have to tidy up some other areas which is part of the progression and part of us growing as a group.

“We had such a good start with so many goals that people are going to be wary of what we’re capable of and set up shop and try and catch us on the counter, so that’s something we need to learn to deal with and something we’ve been working hard on.

“We’re growing a mentality that we don’t switch off when we have long periods of possession.

“I want to make sure that we know as a group that just because we have a lot of possession and are dominant in the front third, if we don’t score, we have the ability to stop it [the opposition scoring] as well.

“I feel it doesn’t help when teams are really backing off and getting ten people behind the ball, but that’s something that we have to deal with and break down.

“If anything, that should be a compliment to the group that they are showing themselves as a good team and people are showing that respect by really dropping off and getting behind the ball.

“We have to break that down, but when we’re going forward, our defensive mindset has to be just as important

“That is something we’ve addressed.”

In terms of what approach the Mariners will take in Sunday’s game, meanwhile, Garcia is not expecting Alen Stajcic’s men to stray too far from the style which has served them so well thus far this season.

“They’re at home and have had a lot of joy playing in the manner that they have,” he said.

“But it’s about us and how we approach the game; it’s a mentality of what we do.”

In terms of squad news, the Head Coach went on to confirm that there were no fresh injury concerns arising from last weekend’s game against Wellington.

As for the Mariners, they head into the weekend seven points clear at the top of the table having won five of their last six games.

Club skipper Matt Simon has been a key part of that fine run, scoring five times in his last six appearances, while exciting youngster Alou Kuol has already bagged six goals despite only starting four games.

Glory will be looking to extend a three-game winning streak at Central Coast Stadium in which they have scored ten goals.

Match Details

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Central Coast Mariners v Perth Glory

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Kick-Off: 1:05 pm (WST)(4:05 pm (Local))

Referee: Kurts Ams

Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher

Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV Broadcast:  Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 1:00pm (WST), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast:  COAST FM 96.3

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvPER

To purchase tickets visit www.a-league.com.au/tickets

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 6. Gianni STENSNESS 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DE SILVA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 12.Marcos UREÑA, 14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michal JANOTA, 23.Dan HALL, 25. Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29.Alou KUOL, 32.Max BALARD

**1-3 to be omitted**

 Ins: 6. Gianni STENSNESS (Return from Injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk),  5.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Kosuke OTA, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Andy KEOGH, 13.Luke BODNAR, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Nick SULLIVAN, 17.Diego CASTRO (C), 19.Callum TIMMINS, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 20.Carlo ARMIENTO, 22.Josh RAWLINS, 23.Dane INGHAM, 24.Daniel STYNES, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 38.Ciaran BRAMWELL, 88.Neil KILKENNY

**2-4 to be omitted**

 Ins: 19.Callum TIMMINS (promoted), 38.Ciaran BRAMWELL (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS (knee – 2-3 weeks), 34.Mason TATAFU (ankle – 1-2 weeks)