Okon delighted at first win

11 November 2017 05:29:11 EST

Central Coast coach Paul Okon regards his team's 2-0 win over defending champions Sydney FC as the benchmark for the Mariners.

The Gosford club were without a win in their first five rounds, but had looked to be improving week by week.

A nightmare start to the campaign, when they were thrashed 5-1 by derby rivals Newcastle Jets in front of their own fans, did not trigger a drop in confidence in the squad.

Three games now we're unbeaten, and hopefully this can give us that confidence that we can win.

Paul Okon

The 2-1 defeat at Perth Glory in Round 3 remains their only other defeat, and Okon felt disappointed when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Melbourne Victory in their previous home match.

"We were very close last time we were here against Victory, so tonight it was important," said the Mariners coach. "It was more than just a performance tonight. Tonight, was about not letting anything slip; we knew we had a chance, we just had to match their commitment, their hunger."

Okon added: "I had a really strong feeling that we were going to play our football and we've done that in every game so far. It's our first win, it's against the champions, the benchmark."

The Mariners won thanks to a goal in each half from Andrew Hoole and Jake McGing, and didn't concede despite being down to 10 men for the final six minutes after skipper Alan Baro's dismissal.

They will look to make it four games unbeaten when they face Adelaide United next time out.

Okon said: "We're delighted, that's two weeks now with a clean sheet, three games now we're unbeaten, and hopefully this can give us that confidence that we can win."

Central Coast are 7/4 to beat Adelaide, who are 6/4 with the draw 5/2.

The Mariners are 10/1 to win 1-0.

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