Home-ground graveyard haunts Mariners

January 9, 2010
By Adrian Warren

A dreadful record on their home ground is threatening to scuttle the Central Coast's prospects of making this season's A-League finals.

Saturday night's 1-1 draw with North Queensland in Gosford ended the Mariners' five-match losing streak, but continued their run of poor results in Gosford.

The Mariners have earned only eight of their 25 points in Gosford.

Central Coast have won five games outside Gosford, including two against high-flying Melbourne, prior to next Friday's clash away to bottom of the table Adelaide.

They have won only one out of nine matches at Bluetongue Stadium this season and have gone six fixtures and almost four months since enjoying their only victory there against Gold Coast.

"We like playing there, but we are just not getting the results this season and we've got better results away from home," Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna told AAP.

"Hopefully we can get a good result in Adelaide and get the numbers out the next week when we play back at home (against Gold Coast)."

McKinna reported no major injury worries following the clash with Fury.

He said central defender Chris Doig suffered "a couple of corks" and would miss training on Monday, but would be right to resume the following day.

McKinna expected to have midfielder Nick Travis available for the Adelaide game after a virus ruled him out of the North Queensland match.

Pleased with the Mariners' first-half performance on Saturday, McKinna suggested he would persevere with the experiment of playing Socceroos Dean Heffernan and Bradley Porter in wide midfield roles, rather than their more familiar fullback positions.

Heffernan showed plenty of dash in 66 minutes before being replaced after arriving back from international duty in Kuwait 36 hours before the game started.

"We wanted a bit of pace and a bit of width and I thought Porter and him gave it on both sides," McKinna said.

"I thought the two looked very well in roles they have not been accustomed to."

McKinna was looking for a lift in form from his New Zealand All Whites midfielder Michael McGlinchey, who on Saturday was relegated to the substitutes bench for the first time this season.

"Michael has been a bit quiet since (New Zealand's) World Cup game, he came on last night and he wasn't that involved," McKinna said.

"He probably is just a little bit out of form and just needs a bit of confidence."

Likewise, McKinna believed hard working striker Matt Simon needed just one goal after a five game drought to lift his confidence.

Fury coach Ian Ferguson was pleased with the way his side responded in the second half after he blasted his players for their first-half display, which he felt was probably their worst of the season.