Moss: Playmakers need more protection

Central Coast coach Phil Moss has called on referees to protect the A-League’s playmakers after South Korean Kim Seung-Yong was the target of several cheap fouls...

Central Coast coach Phil Moss has called on referees to protect the A-League-s playmakers after South Korean Kim Seung-Yong was the target of several cheap fouls in the Mariners' feisty 3-1 F3 Derby victory over the Newcastle Jets on Saturday evening at Central Coast Stadium.

Early goals to Eddy Bosnar and Bernie Ibini gave the locals a stirring start but a 23rd minute goal to Jets marksman Joel Griffiths and periods of sustained pressure caused nervous times for home fans until substitute Glen Trifiro’s late goal confirmed the win.

Kim will travel to China for the Mariners AFC Champions League game in Beijing on Wednesday but Moss says the competition risks losing key players if referees are not consistent.

'He coped few knocks in the calf,' said Moss of Kim.

'I said it a few weeks ago - our number tens in our league, our creative players need to be protected.'

Referee Peter Green at times looked under pressure in the encounter with several flash-points threatening to boil over, however Moss was more concerned with how the former Ulsan Hyundai player was treated.

'They are not a protected species, they have to be able to mix it physically, but certainly when you get kicked three, four, five times in a game you expect the referee to give a little bit of protection and make sure everything is above board and I’m not sure he (Kim) got that tonight.'

Moss is still expected to have the 29-year-old available for the fixture against Bejing Guoan but the niggle may be a concern. One player who won’t travel is Tuesday’s ACL hero Mile Sterjovski who will be rested.

Analysing the match overall the former Mariner assistant coach was blunt.

“It wasn’t our best performance, we have got higher standard than that and I think with the ball we need to be better, we need to take more care out of it,' Moss said.

“It’s gratifying for me the players are in there disappointed with the performance, but it’s an outstanding result in a pressure game, a derby and it was a true derby and you can attribute some of the turnover (of possession) to that to both sides.

Moss had targeted the Jets game-plan form the outset.

“They (Newcastle) obviously went a lot of route one football up to (Emile) Heskey with (Adam) Taggart and (Joel) Griffiths and (David) Carney trying to run off him which we knew.

'At times we dealt with it well, at times we didn’t deal so well.

'Credit to my players for really digging deep tonight and finding to way to win the game.

'They had nothing to lose so they threw a lot at us and they put us under pressure when they went to 2-1.'

Moss singled out 24 year-old Glen Trifiro of Sydney United 58, one of the club’s January acquisitions, after his maiden A-League goal. 

'I'm delighted for Glen getting his debut A-League goal. He came on and made a real impact for us and threw his body on the line to get that third goal so credit to him.

'I think that’s a big result for the NSW state league, to see a boy come up from that and make his A-League mark with a goal at home.'

The Mariners travel to China on Sunday to face Beijing Guoan, who have drawn their first two ACL games, on Wednesday evening.