Okon’s challenge to match-winner De Silva

He scored the decisive goal against Wellington Phoenix but Central Coast Mariners boss Paul Okon has challenged Daniel De Silva to find the net more regularly in the Hyundai A-League.

De Silva netted in first-half stoppage time to hand the Mariners a 1-0 victory and snap a 11-game winless run in the competition.

The strike was the 20-year-old’s third in 18 matches this season and Okon believes the talented midfielder needs to become more prolific if he is to reach his potential.

“I think that Daniel knows that to get to that next level he has to score more goals,” Okon said post-match.

“He is certainly capable of it, and the goal that he scores, he makes a run from about 45, 50 metres, so in the end he gets rewarded for his hard work.

“It’s not really natural for a number 10 to work as hard as he does, he doesn’t stop running, so it’s great for him to get his goal, and it’s great that its gets us the three points.”

After last week’s capitulation which saw the Mariners surrender a 2-0 lead against a 10-man Adelaide, Okon’s side again appeared nervous as Wellington grew into the game in the second half.

Phoenix had their chances to grab an equaliser but the Mariners held firm as they moved to within six points of sixth-placed Wanderers, who have a game in hand.

Okon admitted his side have struggled in front of goal this season and conceded their position on the ladder reflects their inconsistency over the campaign.

“In certain games this season, we felt like we should have got more, but in the end, the ladder doesn’t lie, it paints a true picture at the moment,” Okon said.

“If we had been able to deal with certain moments better, we would have more points, more wins, that’s just how it goes.

“We know we’re a team that can play football, we’re a team that can create chances through playing our football, but we need to be more clinical in certain moments, and I thought we did that tonight.

“I’m happy for the players and we finally get to send the fans home with a win.”