Mariners boss hoping for more De Silva magic against City

Central Coast boss Paul Okon has called on young playmaker Daniel De Silva to maintain the rage as the Mariners aim to make it a hat-trick of Hyundai A-League wins on Sunday.

The Mariners head to Melbourne to take on third-placed Melbourne City in what shapes as a fascinating encounter at AAMI Park.

Okon’s side certainly head south in confident mood following back-to-back wins over Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory.

A major factor in the Mariners’ improvement this season has been playmaker De Silva, whose stunning form has him earmarked as a potential Caltex Socceroos bolter for the World Cup.

The 20-year-old produced a scintillating run from inside his own half to set up Blake Powell’s winner last weekend and Okon hopes to see more magic against City.

“It shows how far Daniel De Silva had to run after initiating the move and I think we have come to expect that from Daniel,” Okon said.

“He is certainly very capable of that and a lot of people do talk about what he does when he has the ball, but he starts our press and he works ever so hard.

“When he has the ball, he’s exciting and then he’s prepared to work for the team when he doesn't have it so if Daniel can keep that up I am sure that's going to bring us more wins.”

As well as De Silva’s purple patch of form, the Mariners are also set to be strengthened by the return of key players Asdrubal, Josh Rose and Storm Roux.

Asdrubal could make his return from injury against Melbourne City.

It gives Okon plenty of different options and pleasant selection headaches for the clash with Warren Joyce’s star-studded outfit.

“They do say to see the strength of a team, you have to look at the bench and we feel that our bench is very strong, whoever is not starting,” Okon said.

“We have a real fit and healthy team at the moment everyone is back, so tough decisions need to be made.

“We expect it to be a really tough game,” Okon added.

“Melbourne City’s got a great roster, some really dangerous players in the final third. Like every week we are going to need to put in a really good performance and try to be mistake free and deal with certain moments in the game and we feel if we can manage that, we will give ourselves a chance of getting some points.”