AAP Soccer

A-League’s Mariners face character test

By AAP Newswire

Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey views Sunday's away clash against A-League champions Melbourne Victory as the perfect opportunity for his club to show their character.

Mulvey said Victory were being carried by marquee man Keisuke Honda, but stressed the game wasn't about one player.

After picking up a point in each of their first two games, the Mariners crashed to an embarrassing 3-0 home loss to Adelaide United last Sunday.

"If a 3-0 loss is adversity then we need to bounce back and show our character," Mulvey said.

"We're really looking forward to the game and what better place to do that than against the champions at their home ground."

Mulvey identified a couple of the problems at the heart of their lacklustre performance against Adelaide.

"In layman's terms the way we were passing the ball was not quick enough," he said.

"There was not enough urgency and we didn't mount enough pressure on them.

"In the second half I thought we improved, but we can dissect the three goals that we conceded down to our mistakes, so it was self inflicted.

"So we need to cut out mistakes and we need to have a higher tempo to the game.'

Japanese veteran Honda has been involved in all four Victory goals this season, scoring the first from a penalty and logging an assist for the other three.

"You can see just by watching from afar, he's got great touch, he's got great vision and he carries the club basically," Mulvey said.

"He's at the fulcrum of everything that they do and I think that you can see his class shining through.

"But football is not about one person it's about the team.

"We'll go there hoping to see if we can stretch them a little bit, and see if we can put our stamp on the game."

While Jamaican track great Usain Bolt's trial with the Mariners has ended, Mulvey was adamant they would continue benefiting from his short time with the club.

"I think it's a great thing for him and also for us and the spin offs from it will be very very good for years to come in this club," Mulvey said.

"We're going to announce some new youth coaches, we've got some players because of it, so it's a win-win situation."