Okon frustrated in striker search

06 February 2018 03:34:07 EST

Head coach Paul Okon admits Central Coast Mariners were priced out of their bids to land a new striker for the rest of the A-League season.

The Mariners have only scored 19 goals in as many games this season and need to turn around their form if they're to make the Finals Series.

Okon's side have slipped to ninth place in the table after 10 games without a win. Blake Powell is their top scorer with four, with no other player netting more than two so far.

There was space in their squad and the salary cap to sign a proven striker, especially after they released forwards Kwabena Appah and Asdrubal in January.

But after failing to add to his squad, other than bringing in former youth international Peter Skapetis from Brisbane Roar, Okon will place his faith in the forwards he has.

Skapetis made an immediate impression, scoring with his first touch after coming on in the 2-1 home loss to Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.

Speaking of his attempts to sign a striker, Okon said: "We tried really hard, but unfortunately when it comes time to find out how much the nines want, the numbers just didn't stack up. We have six attackers at this football club, and we'll soldier on with those six attackers."

The coach has faith that midfielder Andrew Hoole can become more of a goal threat for his side.

He says his tally of two goals from 15 games is disappointing and feels confidence might be an issue.

Speaking of his display against Wanderers, Okon said: "Maybe at times he could have pulled the trigger, or come up with a better solution and maybe he's a little bit low on confidence.

"But I thought Hooley's second half he was more in the game and he always looked like a threat, so it's something that he needs to keep working at, because the good thing is that he finds himself in those areas."

Central Coast are 4/1 to win their next game against Adelaide United, who are 8/11, with the draw 13/5.

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