"It's about character": Mulvey challenges players to bounce back
Character is a term often overused in sport but it’s the one thing Central Coast Mariners coach Mike Mulvey will be looking for when his side line up against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday night.
With the Mariners slumping to an embarrassing loss to Adelaide United in front of their home fans in Round 3, Mulvey said the team needed to hit back in the wake of the 3-0 result.
“First of all it’s about bouncing back from last week,” Mulvey said.
“We know amongst the playing group and the staff that the result wasn’t good enough last week so we need to rectify that.
“It’s about character, we’re going to be measured by the way we bounce back from adversity and a 3-0 loss is adversit.
"We need to bounce back and show our character… what better place to do that against the Champions in their home ground.”
The Mariners looked second-best all afternoon against the Reds and Mulvey said the issues were plain to see.
“How long have you got?” he smiled wryly when quizzed on what went wrong.
“There were a few things and we’ve tried to rectify it this week and in layman’s terms it was a bit like the speed of the way we were passing the ball was not quick enough, there was not enough urgency and we didn’t mount enough pressure on them.
“In the second half I thought we improved but at the end of the day we can dissect the three goals we conceded down to our own mistakes, self-inflicted, so we need to cut out the mistakes and have a higher tempo to the game.”
With Victory getting the ball rolling with their first win of the season last week, defeating Newcastle Jets 1-0, the Mariners will be up against it when they travel south.
For Mulvey however, the crucial thing is that the team holds itself to certain standards including responsibility and a healthy dose of fight.
“The first thing is you can only sort it out on the training paddock,” he said.
“You have to get back to work, you have to roll your sleeves up and accept responsibility, we need to look in the mirror.
“That’s what I did first of all and I expect the players to do that and I know they have done that.
“We’ve had some video sessions… we need to be evolving as the season goes, we played quite well in the first two games and we let the standard drop a bit in the third game so like I said we are all on notice now.”