Phil Moss heaps praise on match-winner Michael McGlinchey
Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss has lauded the influence of J-League bound midfielder Michael McGlinchey as his side picked up a 2-1 win over Perth Glory.
Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss has lauded the influence of J-League bound midfielder Michael McGlinchey as his side picked up a 2-1 win over Perth Glory on Tuesday evening at Bluetongue Stadium courtesy of the diminutive Kiwi-s 96th minute goal.
The result sees the title-holders return to the winner’s circle after falling 2-0 to the Western Sydney Wanderers last round and moves them up to fourth on the ladder.
McGlinchey's dramatic winner ensured he gave himself the best send off possible before he links up with former Mariners coach Graham Arnold at Vegalta Sendai on a year-long loan and Moss wasn't holding back his praise for the departing 26-year-old after the game.
"I think you saw tonight Mikey was such a key figure" Moss said.
"He just finds space and space finds him and that’s the sign of a good player.
"He uses the ball so well, he is quick to release it but he also knows how to run at players, create openings and opportunities for other players."
Moss reflected that while the loss of McGlinchey is significant, his squad is more than capable of filling the void.
"McGlinchey will be a big loss there is doubt, but to have someone like Bernie (Ibini) to come back and we have Nick Fitzgerald who has been doing fantastic - he was unlucky not to get a run tonight - we have got some options there.
"It will be a loss but it certainly won’t cripple us."
The departure of the All White international will mean more playmaking responsibility is likely to fall to Argentinian playmaker Marcos Flores, who was dropped to the bench for Tuesday night’s game in a move 42 year-old Moss says was tactical.
"Marcos is such a lethal player with the ball at his feet and I thought tonight would be a real battle for the first 60-65 minutes and then once the game opened up Marcos would come on and really open them up for us and provide the killer pass.
"He played a crucial part when he came on, he caused them all sorts of problems and kept them on the back foot and gave us the impetuous to go on and get the winner in the end.
"It was a great ball to the back post to Mile (Sterjovski) to nod back for Michael McGlinchey," Moss said.
In addition to the axing of Flores to the bench Dutchman Marcel Seip made way for 22 year-old Zac Anderson who had not featured in the starting eleven since Moss took over in round seven.
Moss said the former Gold Coast United player had been continuing to work diligently at training to earn a recall.
"Zac was struggling with a lower back injury since I first took over and that took him a while to shake and when he did I had given Brent Griffiths an opportunity at the back and Marcel (Seip) was training very well so he got his chance but I think in the last couple of weeks Zac has really put his hand up and he was excellent tonight," noted the former Manly United coach.
In the second half there were injury concerns for both defenders Anderson and goal-scorer Trent Sainsbury but Moss is confident they will be available on Sunday.
"Zac was just cramping in the calves and Sainsbury just got a bit of cramp in his right hamstring and we didn't want to take any risks.
"They should both be right for Sunday’s game with Heart."
In addition to the second half cramp, Sainsbury suffered a nasty looking head clash with Perth forward Ndumba Makeche in the first half however Moss is not concerned by that ailment saying the 21 year-old was "fine… (there is) no problem at all."
Moss would not be drawn on allegations that Perth skipper Jacob Burns had apparently wiped his bloodied shirt on Mariners striker Matt Simon late in the match prior to Burns' 90th minute send-off saying he hadn't seen the incident.
After rounding out their title-winning year in triumph the Mariners will have their first full training session of the week on Thursday ahead of their clash against the Heart on Sunday.