Match Preview: Garcia welcomes immediate chance to bounce back

Head Coach Richard Garcia has welcomed the fact that Glory will be back in action on Tuesday against Central Coast Mariners at HBF Park (kick-off at 7.05pm, tickets HERE), just 96 hours after taking on Sydney FC.

View his pre-match media conference in full HERE.

The men in purple came off second-best against the Sky Blues despite creating a host of chances and striking the woodwork through Bruno Fornaroli in the second half.

But although the defeat hurt, Garcia believes that the chance to make amends almost immediately is one his charges will embrace.

“It’s always good in football when there’s a game straight after a defeat and a great opportunity to put things right and bounce back,” he said.

“It’s going to be a tough game, but a win puts us up the table in eighth place, so there’s a lot to play for.

“The league is so congested at the moment that a couple of wins and we shoot straight back up, so it’ll be a great game to bounce back in and get back on our feet.”

The Mariners will head west three points and four places above Glory and with the two sides having fought out a 1-1 draw back in Round 14, Garcia is expecting another hard-fought encounter.

“I’m sure it’ll be a tough battle,” he said.

“They are one of the teams that are in amongst that bottom half that is very tight and they’ll be looking to get as many wins as possible.

“But for us, it’ll be about improving off the performance of last week, taking some chances and making sure that we’re better defensively.

“We’ve got to make sure that we keep a clean sheet and have that mentality of not conceding goals.

“The message to the players has been a consistent one; we have to continually drive our standards individually and as a team and sometimes those standards aren’t met.

“I think the group realises that and it’s about continually doing the things we do well over and over again.

“We’ve been very much a team that has played well in big spells, but hasn’t capitalised on that and held out for the full 90.”

The Head Coach went on to provide a squad update, confirming that Giordano Colli is likely to replace injured skipper Brandon O’Neill in the starting line-up and that fellow-midfielder Luke Bodnar (foot) is still some way off a return to competitive action.

“With Brano hurting his shoulder, I thought Gio Colli was fantastic the other night when he came on, showed a lot of maturity and did very well,” he said.

“So he’s in there for a start and he’s someone who is continuing to grown and build on his performances and he’s starting to mature as a player.

“It looks like it’s a fairly nasty one [O’Neill’s injury] and he could be [out for] the rest of the season.

“It’s been a hit-and-miss season for Brandon obviously not playing games and now it’s an opportunity for someone to step in.

“Luke is still a while off, but it’s good to see him out there moving.

“He had a fantastic start to the season and I thought really grew from last season.

“He’s another young guy who is maturing really well and it’s a shame that he had that setback, but he’s done very well with rehab.

“It’s a difficult injury when it’s in the foot, so we’ve got to make sure we do the right thing and go through the right processes.”

The Mariners, meanwhile, have been in mixed form in recent weeks, with their last six games yielding one win, two draws and three defeats and they haven’t managed to collect maximum points on the road since their F3 Derby triumph against Newcastle Jets in Round One.

Skipper Oliver Bozanic has led from the front for Nick Montgomery’s side this term, bagging four goals to lead their goalscoring chart, while Costa Rica international striker Marco Urena has again impressed and flamboyant Scottish import Jason Cummings has adjusted quickly to life in the A-League, claiming two goals and three assists in his eight appearances thus far.

The men from Gosford have won on two of their last three visits to HBF Park, but in the overall records for this fixture, Glory lead with 11 victories to seven.