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BY THE PALM TREES

It seems like an eternity ago that we took on Sydney in the City on a Friday night and as if the A-League just stopped. The break designed to help teams with their Asian Champions League commitments may have contributed to a slight upturn in performances in those games, but if there was any momentum in the A-League competition as we run into the finals, it has certainly been lost.

It was a decent performance in Sydney from our boys in Yellow as well as a large, loud and proud turnout from the fans. The off pitch fun for the evening included catching up with former coach Phil Moss as he did his best to ignore our ad-hoc chants while trying to comment on the game from an open area not far from the away bay and sneaking a view of one of our Palm Tree’s into their camera shot. It isn’t often we’re allowed to play on a Friday – thanks to the overstated involvement of the broadcaster – but we made the most of the opportunity with plenty of inflatable palm trees filling the away bay too. Alas, it was not enough.

To be fair – Sydney were very good and probably never needed to shift out of second gear after coming up with a quality cross and finish early to take any wind from the Mariners sails. While we fought valiantly and performed well, we never looked like threatening a result.

Since then Adelaide were given a “free pass” three points when another referees blunder resulted in points being wrongly awarded. It seems it’s now agreed by the referees coordinator, Ben Wilson (at least according to some media reports) that a mistake did cost Brisbane a point, gained Adelaide two and left this weekend’s fixture looking like a battle of the wooden spoon contenders. It’s been one of the patterns of the season really. Sydney would be continuing their unbeaten run in search of the record set by the famous Ange Postecoglou Brisbane team if it weren’t for something similar happening to them in the most recent Sydney Derby. We continue to wait for “these things to even out over the season…”

It seems a bit unfair to the fine efforts of our coach and club management to find ourselves in that position after making such significant improvement in all respects since last year’s debacle. It provides plenty of hope for the more focused among our fans that have recognised the differences in the way the club goes about business both on and off the pitch. Despite the ridiculous delay in fully knowing the funding model for the coming year(s), one hopes once the signing season really can/does begin we can make the right moves to convince the remaining nay sayers.

In the news at the moment is the seemingly inevitable departure of Paul Izzo and whether Roy O’Donovan has signed with another club, current focus The Jets. For the record – Ivan Necevski’s performance last week deserves a recall this weekend and I for one hope he gets it. Not because Paul Izzo has signed elsewhere, but because Ivan has earned it. Having said that, it would be risky to think such a young player as Izzo is would not be affected by the knowledge that he will not be playing here next season, if that is the case, and that should be one of the factors Paolo is considering when he selects the team for the remainder of the season. Conflicting reports have Roy signed with Jets already or still negotiating – depending on who you believe. I’ve said all along that I like Roy and would love him to remain here. If he doesn’t though, I am comfortable that the purse strings are being controlled properly at our club at the moment, so I believe that should he go, it will be because his financial requirements are beyond our appropriate means. Roy is good but he’s not the messiah. I trust the clubs management in consult with Paolo right now. I’ve heard directly from Mike Charlesworth’s mouth that there will be “more money for Paolo”, I’ve heard the club’s CEO talk about how meticulous our recruitment process is now and while some might have their own reasons to disagree, I don’t believe that Mike Charlesworth is a liar.

Having beaten Adelaide twice this season so far, I think we’re in a great position going into the match. The Reds will be without key play maker – Marcelo Carrusca (suspended) and Socceroo selection Riley McGree, so the timing is good. Despite leaving the field with an apparent thigh injury during the loss to Sydney FC, key defender Jacob Poscoliero remains in contention for selection so we go into the game with a stable group. There has never been a better time to show your support for your team. This is when it matters, when you can make a difference, when every voice can help push our boys over the line. So I’d like to think Coasties will come out in numbers to make sure we put some points between ourselves and the bottom of the table. Additionally, we have the final F3 Derby coming up, the first at home and the one we need to make sure we get the points in. Getting the points in both these fixtures could just put us ahead of both on the table come the end of season and that would be no less than deserved for Paul Okon, who has pulled off a minor miracle working with players chosen by someone else, to resurrect our hopes of a positive future.

About Erin Morrow (98 Articles)
Football fanatic and amateur analyst. An over 35′s player and sometimes coach. He does the occasional refereeing. Passionate Central Coast Mariners foundation member. Follow on Twitter: @Erin_Mariner