Okon: Mariners’ winning mentality has begun

New Mariners coach Paul Okon says his side’s evolution is slowly coming together, including bringing a winning mentality back to Gosford.

Okon, who was appointed less than a month ago, says he’s slowly seeing his ideas in training come to life on the park.  

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“We certainly want to see what we’ve been working on happening in the game, that’s probably our main focus coming in this late in the pre-season,” he told reporters on Thursday.

Central Coast have a friendly with Wellington Phoenix at Nelson’s Trafalgar Park on Saturday. And it’s another chance for the former Socceroo to fine tune his team’s patterns of play after a loss on the weekend to Phoenix in Sydney.

Central Coast Mariners boss Paul Okon guides his team through a training session.

“But I want to win anything I play in. The result is important. We want to have a winning mentality and a winning culture.

“And that doesn’t just start in Round 1, you want to see that throughout the whole pre-season.

“I was disappointed we didn’t win on the weekend but the main focus was the way we played. And that’ll be the same on Saturday [in Nelson].”

The Mariners kick off their new Hyundai A-League season away to Perth Glory on Saturday night, October 8. 

On the injury front, Fabio Ferreira has been training for three weeks and will see game time in Nelson, said Okon.

“He’s a top athlete and these sorts of injuries [hamstrings] can happen to guys who run that fast.”

Fabio Ferreira

Though Central Coast are likely to be without rising star Liam Rose who is currently with the Young Socceroos.

“He’s due back on the weekend," said Okon. "But if he’s selected we’ll then say goodbye to him a couple of days later.

“We probably won’t get him [back] till the end of October. So we won’t have him for the first three rounds.”