They might be sitting last in their Asian Champions League group, but the Central Coast Mariners are upbeat ahead of a must-win clash against Tianjin Teda at Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday.
might be sitting last in their Asian Champions League group, but the Central Coast Mariners are upbeat ahead of a must-win clash against Tianjin Teda at Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday.
The Mariners kicked off their second tilt at the Asian Champions League impressively before things fell apart with a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Seongnam in Korea two weeks ago.
That results means Central Coast need to record their first ever victory in the competition against Tianjin in Gosford and then back it up with another win over Nagoya Grampus in Japan if they are to qualify for the next round of matches.
Coach Graham Arnold and skipper Alex Wilkinson are confident the Mariners can get the job done.
"The build-up has been fantastic, we've got the power back in the legs after a hectic schedule," Arnold said.
"The boys have trained the house down so I'm expecting a fantastic performance. The challenge for every one of us is to try and get our first victory in this competition."
Wilkinson said the players were desperate to make up for the disappointment in Korea.
"That performance was nowhere near good enough but it's over now, we've moved on," Wilkinson said.
"It has been nice to freshen up. It should be an entertaining match because both teams need to win."
One Mariners player especially keen to impress is attacking midfielder Mustafa Amini, who will be playing his final home game before linking up with parent club Borussia Dortmund at the end of May.