Mariners keep faith with youngsters
Central Coast Mariners are ready to keep their faith in youth to propel them up the A-League table.
The 2012-13 champions are in the wrong half of the table after losing their last three games, with Sunday's 1-0 home defeat to Perth Glory their latest setback.
The senior players at the club have done a fantastic job bringing these kids through, and now the kids are at a stage where they've got every right to feel that they should play.Phil Moss
But coach Phil Moss isn't about to abandon his philosophy of bringing young players into the team, and makes no apology for having wielded the axe before the Glory match.
He dropped left-back Josh Rose to the bench and left out midfielder Nick Montgomery and central defender Zac Anderson from his match-day squad.
Newcomers in the team have included 18-year-old defender Michael Neill and Jacob Poscoliero, who is starting his first A-League campaign.
Moss said he was just picking the team he felt would get the job done, adding: "Monty and Rosey are great servants of the club and fantastic footballers, and will play a huge role this season, there's no doubt.
"The senior players at the club have done a fantastic job bringing these kids through, and now the kids are at a stage where they've got every right to feel that they should play. We'll be fine, we've just got to keep trying to play the type of football we want to."
Goals are at a premium for the Gosford club as they have just two in their four games so far and have failed to find the net in their last two matches.
Moss said he was aware the team needed to find a way to score more goals. He added: "I tinkered with the front four, to try to find the goal – at the moment we've either got a goalkeeper standing in the way and pulling off great saves, or we're just missing the target."
They now have successive away games to contend with, against Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Their task against City at AAMI Park on Sunday has arguably been made harder by the opposition signing Liam Miller on a short-term deal.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder was released late last month by Brisbane Roar, having fallen out of favour after winning the Grand Final under Mike Mulvey last season.
The 33-year-old started training with City on Tuesday morning and is available to make his debut against the Mariners.
Central Coast are 1212/1 to win the A-League grand final and Western Sydney can be backed at 1212/1.
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