Hard work pays for Mariners

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold believes his team is starting to reap the benefits of their pre-season preparation.

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold believes his team is starting to reap the benefits of their pre-season preparation.

The Gosford outfit completed a 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix in the New Zealand capital on Friday.

The victory sealed back-to-back wins after three winless matches to open their Hyundai A League campaign.

Former Qantas Socceroo Arnold acknowledged the Mariners were just hitting their stride after taking an alternative path into the campaign from their counterparts to keep one eye on continental competition in 2012.

"I thought we would start the season a little bit slower and I take responsibility for that because I chose to do a different pre season."

"A lot of the other teams in Australia did a pre-season of 14 to 16 weeks."

"Before the first game we chose to do an injury prevention programme of core strength and hopefully not getting soft tissue, muscle injuries, and only a six to seven week football pre season, to keep them fresh, to build into the season, as we have Asian Champions League at the back end of the season."

"So I think our ball movement is much better, we're sharper with our feet and also in the mind," he said.