It might only be one game into the new Hyundai A-League campaign but skipper Nick Montgomery is adamant there’ll be no repeat of Central Coast’s pop-gun attack in Season 11.
The Mariners endured a challenging 2014/15 season, struggling for goals as they found the net just 26 times in their 27 matches.
It was a focus of coach Tony Walmsley all pre-season to instil more punch to the side and give them more of a goal-scoring threat.
And the early signs are encouraging as the pro-active Mariners carved out a 15 shots on goal, seven on target, scoring three times in the win over Perth Glory last Sunday in Round 1.
Star winger Fabio Ferreira in particular impressed with an 80% shooting accuracy from his five shots on goal (he also scored both penalties).
For new skipper Montgomery, he loves what he’s seen so far and even though the shot accuracy was 46.7% against Glory, he's confident of more goals to come.
“We’ve definitely got more attacking players this season than we had last season,” the Englishman told www.a-league.com.au.
“I think last season we struggled to score goals, we didn’t have a great squad in terms of striking options but this season we brought in Roy O’Donovan, who’s played at the highest level in the Premier League in England.
“He’s got goals in him as well as Fabio [Ferreira], Fitzy [Nick Fitzgerald], [Anthony Caceres] players like that.
“We’re in a good shape and for me it’s more of a case of just organising the team and making sure we’re hard to beat.”
New striker O’Donovan opened his account - perhaps fortuitously – in the 3-2 win over Glory and Montgomery says the Irishman has been a major acquisition for the club.
“He’s a striker with a wealth of experience and he’s still at a good age,” the skipper said.
“He’s hungry for goals.
”We’ve bought up a lot of young boys too. Jack McGing at centre-half has come in and done a fantastic job.”
In his fourth season at the club, Montgomery feels a part of the furniture in Gosford now and is relishing the opportunity to captain the club, taking the reins from the retired John Hutchinson.
“It’s a great honour to captain any club, especially a great club like the Mariners,” Motgomery said.
“Taking over from Hutch was some big boots to fill, he did a fantastic job but to be honest it’s made it easy for me. I’ve just carried on the same thing I’ve done the last three years under Hutch.
“I want to lead by example on and off the pitch, help the young boys and generally just keep the club going the way it has the last 10 years.
“We’ve got some young players in and we’re create a new squad. It’s exciting times ahead.”
The Mariners will look to maintain their 100 percent record when they take on fellow first-round winners Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.