Moss shows he's the man for Mariners

New Central Coast coach Phil Moss jokingly admitted he would have pointed the finger at Graham Arnold if his side had lost to Perth Glory on Saturday night.

New Central Coast coach Phil Moss jokingly admitted he would have pointed the finger at Graham Arnold if his side had lost to Perth Glory on Saturday night.

Moss tasted victory at his first attempt as an A-League coach after Mitchell Duke scored a late winner to help the Mariners post a 2-1 triumph over Glory at nib Stadium.

Arnold handed the reins of the Gosford-based club over to his long-time assistant Moss last week after he accepted an offer to coach J-League side Vegalta Sendai.

But Arnold had already put plans in place to help the Mariners end a three-game winless streak in Perth, including a bold decision to fly west on the day of the match.

The Mariners stayed overnight in Sydney before flying to Perth early Saturday morning in a move that paid dividends for the reigning A-League champions.

"I told Arnie if we lost I was going to blame him and if we won I was going to say it was my first big decision," a smiling Moss said post-match.

"We decided to do it a couple of weeks ago, so the bookings were all made and it was too late for me to change it.

"It's something the staff have been discussing for a couple of seasons now…it was a calculated risk, but it's paid off."

The last-gasp win lifts Central Coast back into top-six contention after claiming just five points from the first five rounds of the season.

Moss admitted "celebrating like a fan" when Duke's injury-time volley found the back of the net, but stressed the victory was not about him or Arnold.

"I said to the boys before the game this wasn't about Graham Arnold leaving the club or me taking over - it was about them," Moss said.

"The game of football is about players and supporters and I was just delighted for them because they handled what's gone on in the last 10 days with so much dignity and such a great attitude.

"For them to come out the end of that with three points and to win a game like that is such a good way to win a game. My players fully deserve it."

Last season's Golden Boot winner Daniel McBreen started on the bench against Glory after suffering a bout of gastro on Friday night before the trip to Perth.

Moss expected Nick Montgomery to be fit to tackle Melbourne Victory this Friday night despite the veteran midfielder being forced off after just seven minutes against Perth with a corked thigh.