Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Nick Montgomery says his side are chomping at the bit ahead of Tuesday’s FFA Cup Semi Final against Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
The Mariners aim to reach the FFA Cup Final for the first time in their history, having twice fallen previously at the Semi Final stage.
Central Coast take to the field on Tuesday night for the first time since their 6-0 Quarter Final win over APIA Leichhardt on December 21.
Nick Montgomery’s side were on a run of three straight wins, including a 2-0 victory over Sydney FC at Central Coast Stadium, before COVID-19 related postponement of a number of fixtures over the New Year period.
“For us it’s the first game of the new year, so obviously coming off the back of a good run, it’s been a frustrating couple of weeks,” Montgomery said.
“Sydney have had a couple of games so obviously a little bit different in both camps but the boys are chomping at the bit to play.
“The difficult thing for me is picking a team, we were expecting three games last week and now this will be the first game.
“We’re ready to go and cup football’s cup football, it’s a Semi Final, it’s a massive opportunity to get to a cup final so we’ll be going there full of confidence and going there to get a result.”
A number of youngsters from the Mariners Academy have shone on the club’s run to a second consecutive FFA Cup Semi Final, with Montgomery a former Academy boss at the club saying he has full confidence in his young charges ahead of Tuesday’s match.
“We’ve got probably the youngest squad in the A-League, there’s plenty of young boys that are actually starting week in, week out, you’ve only got to look at the back four, Steeley & Max in the middle,” Montgomery said.
“To be honest it’s a game-by-game basis, we’ll assess the squad today and tomorrow and we’ll put a team out plus subs that I feel is going to give us enough depth.
“It’s a cup game, it can go to extra time so we’ve just got to make sure that we’re prepared for every scenario, but one thing we will be is ready for the game and we look forward to going to Sydney on Tuesday night.”
The winner of Tuesday’s match will face the winner of Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix in the FFA Cup Final 2021.
FFA Cup 2021 Semi Final
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
Date: Tuesday, 18 January
Time: 7pm AEDT kick-off
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Broadcast: Live & Free on 10 Play
Tickets: BUY HERE