Former Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has called on Holger Osieck to assist the Mariners in their preparations for the next phase of the Champions League.
Former Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has called on Holger Osieck to assist the Mariners in their preparations for the next phase of the AFC Champions League.
The Mariners secured their passage to the last 16 despite been humbled 3-0 by Japanese side Kashiwa Resyol on Tuesday evening in Gosford, with a 2-2 stalemate in the other encounter in the pool between Guizhou Renhe and Suwon Bluewings enough for the A-League champions to progress to the knockout section of the tournament.
They will likely face Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande or Korean side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors who sit first and second respectively in Group F and meet on Wednesday evening in China.
With the Australian-based Socceroos set to head to Gosford next week for a camp ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifiers Arnold sees the situation as a perfect fit for both teams.
"I'll have to maybe ask a favour off Football Federation Australia," said the 49-year-old.
"The Socceroos are in camp next week and we need a game.
"It'd be great if we could play the home-based Socceroos in a friendly game next Thursday just to keep us fit."
Arnold had already been planning for this eventuality of having to find a fixture before the first leg of a tie on either May 14 or 15 which will keep the side match fit.
"I had a brief discussion with Gary Moretti (Socceroos team manager)," he said.
"They need a game, the U20s need a game: we can accommodate both teams.
"If they'll help us, that'll be fantastic because we need a game."
On the match itself Arnold claimed responsibility for the side going away from their normal pattern once they went 1 nil down in the 59th minute of play.
"I take responsibility from 1-0 on because I thought the first 60 minutes we were real good value.
"I felt we did very well and Daniel McBreen's had the one cleared off the line and whether that was a penalty with Pedj I don't know.
"When they got the goal against the run of play we went man on man over the whole park, we tried to press high and that gave them more space.
"When you give quality players more space they hurt you but we had to go for it and we couldn't rely on the other result.
"We had to try and get it back and win the game ourselves.
"We opened up, we gave too much space and we played into their hands."
A proud Arnold beamed at getting through.
"We've got to thank Suwon but the result last week was the result that got us into the last 16," he said.
"It's a wonderful history making moment."
No matter the result in the round of 16 tie Arnold has already found a positive for the side as they will attempt to defend their A-League title in 2013/2014.
"I am very happy we have got another four weeks of football.
"That gets rid of the month of May where we weren't doing any football and our program is now perfect for next season with the whole month of June and the first week or July off then into pre-season."