Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold will look to appoint a specific penalty taker in the run up to the finals after Mat Ryan missed against Wanderers FC.
Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold will look to appoint a specific penalty taker in the run up to the finals after goalkeeper Mathew Ryan missed from the spot in a 1-0 loss to the Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.
The Wanderers' win, their eighth in succession, came thanks to an 81st-minute goal from substitute Labinot Haliti, which broke the deadlock in an entertaining fixture.
The home side should have been ahead had Ryan nailed his penalty attempt, awarded when the Wanderers' Dino Kresinger was ruled to have pushed Patrick Zwaanswijk in the back.
However, Ryan, the Mariners' third different penalty taker in three games, drilled his attempt straight at Wanderers shot-stopper Ante Covic, who managed to trap the ball between his legs for an important save.
The result sees the Mariners relinquish first place to the league's newest team and has left Arnold frustrated at his side's luck from the penalty spot.
When discussing how Central Coast can combat the run of misses from the spot, Arnold was clear where the responsibility lay.
"Seniors players ... if you have got goal-scorers out there, the goal-scorers should be the ones that want to take it," he said.
"But it's probably got to the stage were you have got to designate someone specifically now and he has to take the responsibility that even if he misses he backs up and does the next one.
Despite Arnold's pending change of tactics when it comes to penalties, he was adamant Ryan still has the ability to score from the spot.
"Matty took one in the shoot-out last year in the preliminary final.
"So it's not like we are just plucking people out of nowhere.
"Matty was confident to step up and confident to take it. Give him credit for doing that."
On the continued woes from the penalty spot, as Ryan joined Daniel McBreen and Nick Montgomery as all having missed a penalty in the last three games, Arnold was at least philosophical.
"These things happen, everyone misses penalties.
"But it is frustrating we threw three points away in the Champions League on Wednesday night and we have thrown three points away tonight as well.
"In the tactical session yesterday we did a couple of penalties and Matty came up and took it ... unfortunately Matty didn't score."
Despite the result, Arnold wasn't completely disconsolate.
"Football-ing wise, we dominated but we didn't take our chances.
"If you don't take your chances then you cope one up the backside up the other end and that's what happened.
The Mariners now travel south next Saturday to face Sydney FC.