‘We picked them apart’: Stajcic stakes claim for job as Mariners brush aside Wanderers

Central Coast Mariners interim manager Alen Stajcic says his side’s mentality paved the way for their surprise 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

A Matt Simon double and a goal to Kye Rowles sealed the three points for the Gosford side in front of a noisy home crowd.

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REPORT: Simon brace leads Mariners to victory over Wanderers

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Stajcic, who has been linked with the job full-time, praised the home team’s performance in what has been a trying Hyundai A-League campaign.

“I thought that was our best performance since I’ve been here,” Stajcic said post-match.

“I thought we dominated the majority of the match other than when the red card happened, we thoroughly deserved the win.

“We picked them apart and that was the aim of the game and we executed our plan really well in the first half.

Matt Simon
Matt Simon was in vintage form.

“To have that desire and it’s more about mentality as both teams can’t make the finals.

“That’s the part I’m most pleased with to have that mentality to be playing at the last home game of the year.

There was a high degree of hunger there and apart from that I thought we dominated the game with the ball which we haven’t done since I’ve been here.”

Stajcic said with a little refinement the club could go above and beyond expectations after collecting their third wooden spoon in four years.

“For me it’s a matter of finishing on a high next week and the goals were always to lay a good platform,” Stajcic said.

“I think we’ve done that, there’s a lot more stability around the team and the club and at the end of the day there’s hope to have that win to give the fans and players hope.

“If we can improve a little bit there’s no doubt we can be finals contenders next season.”

Lacklustre Wanderers didn’t ‘deserve’ anything

Wanderers manager Markus Babbel lamented his team’s inability to get themselves up for the clash on Saturday night after a positive Sydney Derby performance.

Western Sydney allowed the Mariners to race to a 3-0 lead before pulling one back through Mark Bridge.

Babbel was at a loss to explain why his side was off the pace.

“Congrats to Central Coast they deserved the win,” Babbel told the assembled press.

“They put more energy in, were more aggressive, tactically better than us.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to explain why because last week we played a fantastic game, everything was there to get the result.

“Today we couldn't see it until 30 minutes left when we started putting energy into the game...we didn’t deserve the win today.”

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