Central Coast coach Tony Walmsley has urged his players to show more discipline on the pitch after another horror match in the referee’s bad books.
The Mariners had two players sent off and a further six were cautioned as Walmsey’s side slumped to a 4-0 loss to Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Saturday night.
The second-half dismissals of Mitch Austin and Luis Garcia – both within six minutes of each other – lifted Central Coast’s disciplinary record to nine red cards for the season, five more than Glory and the Newcastle Jets.
Central Coast boasts the worst disciplinary record in the Hyundai A-League this season with 69 cards.
“We have to be responsible for being less reckless when we’re on a yellow card,” Walmsley said.
“(Our disciplinary record) is terrible. I can’t defend it, it’s indefensible.
“Individuals need to recognise when they’re on a card that if they’re reckless, they’re a chance to get another one.”
The Mariners are now 13 points adrift of ninth-placed Wellington Phoenix, meaning the two-time A-League premiers and 2012-13 champions will finish last for the first time in their history at season’s end.
Walmsley was unfazed about collecting the unwanted wooden spoon, claiming this season had been an important turning point for the club both on and off the field.
“We came into this game bottom of the league and we knew regardless of the result we would be bottom of the league after it,” Walmsley said.
“We genuinely have got one eye on the longer-term vision, which is not that long-term (because) next season is only around the corner.
“(The players) need to grow up and grow up quickly. If this doesn’t hurt them as professional athletes then they won’t be professional athletes…I’m pretty sure it’s burning everybody.
“The off-field work that’s been done to not only to get the club sustainable and profitable…it’s not been seen on the pitch yet, but it will.
“I’m 100% behind the charter, I’m 100% behind the boys. We will address the recklessness and the disciplinary issues we have, but we can’t do any more that. We’re asking our fans to stick with us and the vast majority are.”