McKinna lauds effort

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna has described his side's 4-0 demolition of defending champion Melbourne at Etihad Stadium as one of the best performances in his five years at the club and he hopes it's the spark his side needs to re-ignite its season.

Central Coast coach Lawrie McKinna has described his side's 4-0 demolition of defending champion Melbourne at Etihad Stadium as one of the best performances in his five years at the club and he hopes it's the spark his side needs to re-ignite its season.

Coming into a clash at statistically one of the hardest venues to win for away teams, McKinna's team's record of 13 goals from their 13 previous games did not bode well, nor did the fact the club had won just one of its past six matches. But the visitors thrived on the pressure of the situation, scoring an early goal through Adam Kwasnik before finishing the match off with three in nine second-half minutes to Matt Simon, Dean Heffernan and Nik Mrdja.

"Just A-League games, we've had few good ones, but that, away from home, 4-0 against the champions is right up there," McKinna said after the match.

"We had to make three changes, but the three strikers scored tonight. That's was pleasing for us. We said all along we thought there were goals in them and we got them. From the midfield to the defence, to the strikers everybody done their job tonight and it was very pleasing with some good football played as well," he said.

In a game where Central Coast won 4-0, you'd think McKinna's greatest praise would be for his side's attacking players. But the Mariners boss singled out the performance of goalkeeper Danny Vukovic, arguably the club's most impressive contributor this season, in denying Melbourne on two crucial occasions when the game was evenly poised.

"Danny Vukovic at crucial times of the game pulled off some world class saves. When it was 2-0 and he's pulled off a save off (Ney Fabiano). The one in the first half from the quick free kick. Those two could have been turning points of the game. Credit to Danny," he said.

Former Sheffield United midfielder Nicky Travis pulled the strings in the middle of the park in his best showing in his time at the club. McKinna said the Englishman had reacted to being left out of the Mariners side and had come back a better player.

"We dropped him a few weeks ago and he put his hand up and wanted to know what he needed to do. The thing that Nicky's got, he's a very quick thinker. When he does things well, I don't think anybody can get close to him. I think he showed that tonight. He put in a 90-minute performance and he's set a standard. He has to maintain that now," he said.

McKinna had called on his players to be more ruthless ahead of this match, with his side doing a great job defensively, but not attacking in the manner in which they are capable of. After such an emphatic performance at both ends at the park on Saturday night, McKinna thinks the penny might have finally dropped.

"We feel that we've been attacking, but it's a fine line. Going forward we haven't been as direct as we could have been. We try to play through the middle and not go long. Sometimes when we go through the middle, we are not quick enough going forward, and that's one thing we've been working on and wanting to do better," he said.

"We went forward today with purpose and I think we have to do that more. From (Adam) Kwasnik's goal, that was one of the goals of the season, the way in which he reacted."