Midweek Success Has Mariners Confident Ahead Of F3Derby

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Saturday night sees the 32nd edition of the F3 Derby as the Central Coast Mariners clash with the Newcastle Jets in Round 23.

Just a point separates the two clubs on the ladder with the Mariners currently sixth and the Jets seventh. The fixture proves a crucial one for both sides as they continue their push for a cemented finals spot.

The Jets are yet to beat their southern neighbours with an entertaining two all draw taking place in round 4 at Hunter Stadium, while a dominant first half saw the Mariners claim three points in front of their home fans in round 16.

Domestically the Central Coast went down 3-1 to Melbourne Victory, however confidence was restored for Phil Moss’ men midweek after an inspiring come from behind victory against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the Asian Champions League (ACL).

A brace from veteran striker Mile Sterjovski saw the Mariners come from a goal down, a result that has put them second in group F.

The Jets are in good form at the moment winning three of their last four matches, and are gunning for three wins in a row if they can overcome the Mariners.

The Stats:

- The Mariners are unbeaten in their last four league matches against their northern foes (W2 D2).

- Young gun Adam Taggart has scored five goals in his last six appearances for Newcastle.

- Central Coast claimed maximum points last time these sides met, with all three goals coming in the first half.

- The Jets have collected the most yellow cards this season (57).

Who’s Said What:

Mile Sterjovski (Mariners striker):

“We know we are coming up against a Newcastle team that’s full of confidence and that has had some good results lately, so it’s going to be a tough game and we are going to have to be up for it.”

“I think Clayton Zane has done a great job since he’s taken over there and they’ve had a few good results, so their confidence is high. But when they come to Gosford we’re going to be ready for the fight. I think it’s going to be a great match to watch.”

“Playing a derby game against Newcastle is always a heated affair, it’s always a tough game so we have to be at the top of our game to get a result.”

Sam Gallaway (Jets defender):

“There’s a good vibe around the team.”

“Obviously we’ve had two good wins on the trot and we’ve got the big derby this week, so hopefully we get another one.

“I don’t think we’ve had a loss as bad this year as our last game against the Mariners and especially in a Derby game, you don’t want to lose those and definitely not 3-nil.”

“The goals we copped were good goals, but in saying that we didn’t play the best.”

“We really need to lift for this weekend and hopefully we can turn that result around and give our Members something to cheer.”

The Key Issues:

Central Coast:

Can the Mariners carry the momentum they created midweek. While Sanfrecce Hiroshima were under strength, defeating the current J-League champions is a wonderful result for a side struggling for form coming into the clash.

There will be a new found belief that the Mariners can be strong for 90 minutes at both ends of the field, and it’s this belief that needs to roll on for not only the derby, but the remaining games of the A-League’s regular season.

Newcastle:

Motivation will be huge for both sides, more so the Jets as they don’t want a repeat of their last performance at Central Coast Stadium. They let slip a two goal lead in round 4, and were comprehensively out played in round 16.

While a top 6 spot is on offer for the Jets, getting a win over their rivals is of more importance as it will mean more for the club and it’s supporters.

The X-Factor:

Two players this week will provide their respective clubs that much needed spark, John Hutchinson and Ruben Zadkovich.

Both captains are hated by opposing fans and will be more than ready to rally their troops in a clash that means so much to both clubs supporters.

Hutchinson in particular hasn’t been at his best this year, especially with his midfield partner Nick Montgomery having such a strong season.

Despite this ‘Hutcho’ always steps up for the derby and his leadership could provide the difference the Mariners will need to get the three points.

Prediction:

Momentum and confidence are two huge factors in making a winning side. Newcastle have the momentum with their results, while Central Coast have the confidence after playing a brand of football that defeated the current J-League champions.

It sets up an epic clash on Saturday night, one in which I think will go to the home side. In front of a vocal home crowd, the Mariners will take bragging rights over the Jets for the 12th time.

Central Coast 2-0.

Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
Saturday, 15 March 2014
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 7:45pm local (7:45pm AEDT)
Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Chris Young
#F3Derby

Head-to-head:
Played: 31, Wins: Mariners 11, Jets 9, Draws: 11
Last time they met: Round 16. January 25, 2014. Mariners 3 – 0 Jets

Form:
Past five matches:
Mariners: WLWLL
Jets: WWLWL

Central Coast Mariners FC Squad: 1.Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 3.Joshua ROSE, 4.Marcel SEIP, 5.Zachary ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (C), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 9.Mitchell DUKE, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 15.Storm ROUX, 17.Anthony CACERES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Bernie IBINI, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Kim SEUNG-YONG, 27.Matt SIM, 28.Glen TRIFIRO
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Joshua ROSE (returns from injury), 15.Storm ROUX (returns from international duty), 25.Eddy BOSNAR (returns from injury)
Outs: 6.Brent GRIFFITHS (omitted)
Unavailable: 10.Marcos FLORES (knee – season), 13.Hayden MORTON (thigh – 1 week), 14.Michael MCGLINCHEY (on loan – Vegalta Sendai), 18.Michael NEILL (knee – season), 23.Adam KWASNIK (knee – season)

Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 4.Kew JALIENS, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Zenon CARAVELLA, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (c), 9.Emile HESKEY, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 13.Joey GIBBS, 14.Josh MITCHELL, 15.Josh BRILLANTE, 17.James VIRGILI, 20.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 21.Sam GALLAWAY, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.David CARNEY, 24.Mitch OXBORROW, 29.Joel GRIFFITHS
**Two to be omitted**
Ins: 17.James VIRGILI (promoted), 29.Joel GRIFFITHS (returns from injury)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 2.Scott NEVILLE (knee injury – long term), 25.Mitch COOPER (knee injury – long term)

Matthew Berry

Matthew Berry is Football Central's Central Coast Mariners correspondent.

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