Mariners hungry for Seoul success
Mariners boss Phil Moss says his side are full of confidence ahead of their 2014 AFC Champions League Matchday 5 clash with FC Seoul at Central Coast Stadium.
Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss says his side are full of confidence ahead of their 2014 AFC Champions League Matchday 5 clash with Korea Republic-s FC Seoul at Central Coast Stadium on tonight.
The yellow and navy currently sit in top spot in Group F, while the men from the South Korean capital are in fourth place after four matches.
“It-s going to be very a tough game tomorrow night,” Moss said on Tuesday. “They gave us a very tough and torrid contest over in Seoul and we-re looking forward to it.”
“We-ve evolved a long way as a football team [since matchday 1]. There-s a lot more confidence in the group. I think we-ve put the changes to the squad and coaching staff behind us and there is a lot of belief in the squad. It should be a fantastic game of football.”
Moss believes claiming three points on Wednesday is vital if his team are to qualify for the knockout phase for a second successive year.
“This is a crucial game for us and it-s a game that gives us a massive chance of progressing to the next round.”
“We will need to be at our best and be concentrating for the full 90 minutes. If we do that and play to our strengths, I think we are a massive chance,” he said.
The Mariners head into the clash with Choi yong-soo-s men following a well-earned 2-0 victory over ladder leaders Brisbane Roar, which saw them finish the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 regular season in third spot.
FC Seoul currently sit second last on the K-League Classic ladder after a 0-0 draw with Gyeongnam last Saturday. The visitors will be hoping to record maximum points for the first time in their last five outings in both competitions.
“Our players have made Australia stand up and take notice and they should be very proud of that, and now that we-ve given ourselves this opportunity we are hungry to be successful in both (competitions). Seoul are having a tough time at the moment and we have to make sure we make the most of that,” Moss said.
The Central Coast boss added that he-s pleased with the contribution of Kim Seung-yong since joining the club and hopes to see the South Korean whiz impress against his former team.
“Kim has given us some great insights into Asian football during our time in the ACL. He-s a fantastic player and has fitted into the group so well and we want to make sure we do him proud as well. There will be a lot of people watching him in Asia and seeing how he goes in Australia,” he said.
Moss also paid tribute to his team for their efforts throughout their Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season and 2014 AFC Champions League campaign.
“I can-t speak highly enough of the players and what they-ve done this season. They have taken everything in their stride and the culture of the dressing room has allowed us to come out of a difficult period of transition,” he explained.
“For me personally the biggest satisfaction I-d get out of qualifying for the next round is for the players in the dressing room. I have so much belief in them all as individuals and collectively.”
“I believe that we deserve to be in the second round but you don-t get anything you deserve unless you work hard for it, and that-s what we will be doing tomorrow night.”
Meanwhile, FC Seoul boss Choi yong-soo said his team would need to be on their game against the Mariners at Gosford-s idyllic bayside arena.
“Our goal is to qualify for the next stage of the AFC Champions League. We are expecting a difficult game against them tomorrow night, we really need the points if we are going to progress to the knockout stage,” Choi said.
Choi also admitted that his side would need to be watching some of the Mariners- stars closely tomorrow night.
“The Mariners have performed really well in Group F. We will be keeping a close eye on (Nick) Montgomery, (Anthony) Caceres and of course Kim Seung-yong.”
Kick off between Central Coast Mariners FC and FC Seoul on Wednesday night is at 7:30pm AEST.
Central Coast Mariners vs. FC Seoul - 2014 AFC Champions League Matchday 5 Wednesday 16 April 2014 Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 7:30pm Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets to the match! Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter using #CCMvSEO