Mariners out to turn tables on Phoenix

·2-min read

A-League leaders Central Coast Mariners are confident history will not repeat when they face Wellington Phoenix for the second time this season.

The Mariners are sitting pretty on top of the table with five wins from seven games but one of their two losses came against Wellington, when they were undone by a late Jaushua Sotirio winner at Central Coast Stadium in late January.

That 2-1 triumph was Wellington's only victory so far and Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti is determined to ensure the tables are turned in Wollongong on Sunday.

"That hurt - to concede a goal (with) three minutes to the end, it was disappointing," he said.

"We were the better team that day but just didn't get the three points.

"We'll be looking to bounce back against them, it's going to be a tough game.

"Wellington have a good squad, they're playing good football.

"Results aren't going their way at the moment - so we need to make sure we do everything right to go out there on Sunday and get all three points."

The Mariners have bested the likes of Sydney FC, Melbourne City and new boys Macarthur this season, and will be high on confidence against the Phoenix.

"Regardless of who we play, we're going into games with a lot of confidence this season," Birighitti said.

Goalscoring sensation Alou Kuol has been a highlight for the Mariners but coach Alen Stajcic emphasised the importance of excellent performances across the board.

"Really, you can rifle through the whole team and just say that everyone's playing at their peak - and for me it's not their peak, for me the ceiling's much higher," Stajcic said.

"We'll just continue to improve as a team and if we keep working together with the same mentality we've got at the moment, the world's our oyster.

"But we've just got to make sure we keep our feet on the ground and stay humble, and realise that what got us here was hard work and what's going to get us to improve is continued hard work."

STATS THAT MATTER

* Central Coast have won five of their opening seven games.

* Mariners sensation Alou Kuol has scored five goals in seven games, despite only making four starts. He averages a goal every 61.4 minutes.

* Wellington have lost both their games in Wollongong so far this season.