McKinna wants Mariners pride
Lawrie McKinna has called for his Central Coast side to show some pride in its performance ahead of Tuesday's Asian Champions League clash against Kawasaki Frontale in Japan.
Lawrie McKinna has called for his Central Coast side to show some pride in its performance ahead of Tuesday's Asian Champions League clash against Kawasaki Frontale in Japan as the Mariners bid to turn around the 5-0 drubbing they received from the J-League outfit in Gosford two weeks ago.
McKinna has admitted that his side faces an enormous challenge to get something out of the match after being humbled at home recently. But he wants his players to stand up and be counted in the return leg and keep their chance of making the second round alive.
"After being beaten 5-0, the boys have been pretty down but we have to get a bit of pride back in our performance," he said.
"We have to take pride in our performance on Tuesday, which will set us up for our last two Group H games, get our confidence back, get confidence in each other and, after a humiliating defeat, show the Japanese that we can play."
The Mariners coach admits that Kawasaki is an imposing outfit, with class players all over the pitch, but he says a more-disciplined approach will make a major difference to his team's performance.
"After the last game I said that they were probably the best team that we've played against, but we've got to be a lot tighter in defence, from the front to the back and we need to take our chances," he said.
Pedj Bojic and Matt Simon have returned from suspension to boost the Mariners' chances - replacing Ahmad Elrich and Nik Mrdja, who are injured and ill.
"We're going to make a few changes, because we have to, and boys that have been doing well at training will have their opportunity now - we have to be tight, play as one unit all over the park and hopefully take a chance or two," McKinna said.
The Mariners are on two points, three points behind second-placed Pohang Steelers and five adrift of Kawasaki. Another loss, plus a Pohang win in the other game would all but eliminate the Mariners from contention. McKinna knows that a point is vital to maintain in touch.
"If we can get anything from this game tomorrow it will be a huge bonus for us and pick us back up," he said.