Murray has so much raw potential says Mariners boss Stajcic
Alen Stajcic believes striker Jordan Murray has all the raw materials to become one of the Hyundai A-League’s hot-shot forwards.
Murray’s double against Melbourne City on Friday was a silver lining for the Mariners on an evening their 4-2 defeat consigned the club to a record-equalling 10th consecutive defeat.
The 24-year-old put himself on the Hyundai A-League radar after banging in the goals for NPL NSW club APIA Leichhardt and signed his first professional contract for the Mariners in August 2018.
Murray scored three goals in his debut campaign in Gosford and now has four in 2019/20 following Friday night’s brace at Central Coast Stadium.
Although it ultimately amounted to another disappointing evening for fans of the Yellow and Navy there are promising signs that the former electrician may be able to spark life into the Mariners over the remainder of the campaign.
“There's so much potential left in Muzza [Murray],” said Stajcic.
“He's got a lot of weapons under his belt and he's still a raw A-League player only having come from the NPL just over a year ago.”
“He was brought here to be a goalscorer and I'm really happy for him that he's got a couple.
“Both well taken goals so that will do him the world of good in terms of his confidence. I think he easily could have been in double figures this year with the amount of chances he's created, and we've created for him.
“He's worked really hard this year and he does so much work and running for us off the ball. He's so critical for us on set pieces.”
Stajcic could not hide his disappointment at the latest example of his side shooting themselves in the foot.
Jordan Murray's 2019/20 stats
Murray’s composed opener handed the Mariners a lead inside 72 seconds over City, but quick-fire goals from Jamie Maclaren and Markel Susaeta saw it evaporate in a matter of minutes.
And, when Murray pulled the score back to 3-2 with a bullet header after Maclaren sent City two clear after the interval, the Socceroos forward completed his hat-trick and quelled hopes of a Mariners fight-back just five minutes later.
It continues a worrying trend for Central Coast of switching off in crucial moments of matches. The Mariners allowed Scott McDonald to score in first-half stoppage time in their 1-0 defeat on Friday, 13 March and copped two late sucker punches against Sydney FC with the Sky Blues on the ropes back in February’s 3-0 loss.
The previous week, the Mariners conceded 82nd and 84th minute strikes to Adelaide United in a 2-0 defeat.
“We just let ourselves down all the time,” said Stajcic.
Meanwhile, Melbourne City assistant coach Patrick Kisnorbo, fronting the media in place of boss Erick Mombaerts, who remained in Melbourne due to coronavirus precautions, said his side would continue to keep their heads down during the run in to Finals Football.
City take a short ride up the F3 to face Newcastle Jets on Monday night and are due to host Adelaide United on Friday night.
“I think at the moment we have to concentrate game by game, because with what’s happening in the world, we have no idea. Things could change. We just concentrate game by game.”