Crook apologises for dark night in Gosford

Sydney FC coach Ian Crook has issued an apology to the club's fans after his side was humbled 7-2 by the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

Sydney FC coach Ian Crook has issued an apology to the club's fans after his side was humbled 7-2 by the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

The Moore Park outfit suffered their heaviest defeat in the history of the Hyundai A-League and continued their unwanted streak of not having won at the venue since the 2009/10 season.

Speaking afterwards, a composed Crook said: "Firstly I need to make an apology to our supporters who have been great all year and come up here in numbers again today. To see us get beat 7-2, which is hard to say, we need to say sorry to them."

"I don't believe it was the lack of trying ... It's easy to say when you get beaten like that, people will say 'well they didn't show any heart', I disagree with that. I just felt that a good Mariners side punished us for every mistake that we made. Tonight they punished us."

Despite the margin, Crook felt there were positives from the game.

"The first 15-20 minutes I thought were good. One up possibly could have been more. We made a couple of mistakes and bang, bang you are 3-1 down."

Looking for a spark, Crook brought on Blake Powell and Terry McFlynn at the break but conceded the move backfired.

"We took a risk second half and that was down to me. The blame lays at my door I took the chance on playing three at the back. We got back in it and I thought we were good again for the first fifteen of the second half.

"We were in the ascendency. The fourth goal was a crucial one. As soon as we get back into it (at 3-2) you see everyone lifted and then within two minutes we are 4-2 down and then we lost our shape."

On the absence of marquee signing Alessandro Del Piero and five other regulars Crook would not be drawn into excuses.

"We have had players out for the last couple of weeks and we have found a way to win the game," he said.

Expanding on the Italian marquee's absence, he added: "Realistically, we spoke yesterday with him and we said we would leave it 'til today. Obviously you miss a player of his quality but it was the right thing to do long-term for our club.

"If he was here as a guest player maybe we would have pushed him through it but he is here long-term."