Arnold hails Mariners

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has labelled his side's opening 45 minutes against Adelaide United as 'champagne football' after a clinical 2-1 win at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has labelled his side's opening 45 minutes against Adelaide United as 'champagne football' after a clinical 2-1 win at Hindmarsh Stadium on Saturday night.

Arnold was frank in his appraisal of the first half, saying the Mariners 'destroyed' the Reds to take a 2-0 lead into the break on their way to all but cementing second spot and a home final.

The Mariners were one point ahead of the Reds going into the match but the victory sees Central Coast open a four point lead over United with three games to play.

Aside from the opening minute where United carved out a good scoring opportunity, the Mariners outplayed and outclassed the Reds with temperatures soaring to around the mid-30s before kickoff.

Patricio Perez opening the scoring on ten minutes before Josh Rose doubled the lead on the half hour after he finished a delightful build up from Central Coast.

"The first 45 minutes was I have to say champagne football," he said.

"It was one-touch football, the movement was great from the players, the short passing in midfield. I thought we destroyed them in the first half."

"We knew that Adelaide would come out in the second half and give a bit more...the boys at the back I think handled everything well. It was a very good performance in those conditions."

Arnold said he wasn't at all surprised with how easily the Mariners accounted for the Reds with the visitors bossing their opponents as they took control of the match.

The former Socceroos boss admitted there is enormous belief within the group and he feels 'privileged' to be working with such a squad.

"I won't say surprised - I've got a lot of belief in this group of players," he said.

"And they've got a lot of belief in themselves. If you see the growth and development in this group from day one... and now we're playing really good football and I'm really proud."

"The mentality of the players, the character and the way they played football was brilliant. The players have got great characters and it's a privilege to work with these players."

With second spot almost wrapped up, Arnold acknowledged the Mariners must press on with three games remaining until the finals series.

Arnold highlighted Central Coast's style of football it has been instrumental to their recent run of excellent form while he was also quick to point out the Mariners record on the road this season where they have only lost twice - 2-0 Wellington Phoenix in Wellington and a defeat by the same score to Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.

"We can't take our foot off the pedal because anything can happen with three games to go," he said.

"We've only lost twice away from home all year. Our motto at the start of the year was to try and play the same away from home as we do at home and never to change our style of football and it seems to be working so far."