No morale dramas at Mariners

Daniel De Silva will be one of the Mariners looking for a turnaround in fortune against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Daniel De Silva will be one of the Mariners looking for a turnaround in fortune against Western Sydney Wanderers. Ashley Feder

MARINERS boss Paul Okon is adamant he has not had to make any emergency repairs to morale after last weekend's crushing season- opening 5-1 loss to Newcastle at Gosford.

Okon said the side had just "a few little things to improve on" before today's trip to Western Sydney.

He was frustrated by his team's defensive lapses against the Jets last weekend, but insisted his team would quickly correct those "moments that let us down" against a Wanderers side that was hugely impressive in its own first outing.

He will also remind his team of their successes at Spotless Stadium last season, taking four points from two trips to Western Sydney, in the belief they can show the loss to the Jets was an aberration.

"I don't actually think we played that badly last week. We dominated the game and did a lot of good things with the ball," Okon said.

"We let ourselves down in certain key moments. They cost us the game.

"They were areas we worked on in pre-season and we were very happy with them.

"Defensively we were really good in pre-season; we hardly conceded a goal. So to ship five goals was very disappointing, especially in a derby.

"We've analysed where we went wrong, everyone understands where we weren't good enough."

The Wanderers beat Perth 2-1 last Sunday but could have scored more in a commanding performance that Okon said bore the hallmarks of recently departed coach Tony Popovic.

"Their DNA is extremely good. Tony Popovic only just left so not much has changed," he said.

"What you see is the team he prepared for 15 weeks in pre-season. They made some really good signings and they're a tough team to play against."

Tom Smithies

Topics:  a-league central coast mariners

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