Hutch: They can punish us...
The Mariners are a dramatically different side from the club that won the Championship at Allianz Stadium last April and Hutchinson concedes the team's defence has been tested in the second half of this season...and often found to be failing.
Now they're facing one of the heavyweights of the J-League at Central Coast Stadium - and will need to be on the top of their game to keep the visitors at bay.
Both sides will be looking to record maximum points for the first time this campaign as the yellow and navy suffered a 2-0 loss to Korea Republic’s FC Seoul on Matchday 1, while Sanfrecce grabbed a point in their 1-1 draw with Chinese Super League outfit Beijing Guoan a fortnight ago.
“For me in nine years at this club, this is the biggest team to come to the Central Coast,” Hutchinson said on Monday. “We were lucky enough to have (Guangzhou) Evergrande here last year, but to have the J.League Champions here is fantastic.
“We know our defensive structure this season hasn’t been the best at times. (Sanfrecce) are a quality side and we know what we need to do with and without the ball. If we open ourselves up against a quality team like them, they will punish us.”
“The J.League for me is the best league in Asia. Some of the quality we will be playing against tomorrow night is going to be fantastic. I know the boys are up for the challenge to test our team to see where we are."
Despite defeat against FC Seoul two weeks ago Hutchinson says his side’s opening AFC Champions League Group F match away in the South Korean capital two weeks ago came at a perfect time.
And he admits the Mariners will need to be on their toes to get a result against the purple-whites.
“In Korea, we kind of went back to basics. We looked at the culture of the players, the club and the change room and we spoke about that,” he explained. “We know we’ve made a lot of changes from last season but we’re excited by what’s ahead of us."
Dutch defender Marcel Seip will miss the encounter for Phil Moss’s team after receiving a red card against the K-League Classic heavyweights on his debut in Asia’s top club competition.
Eddy Bosnar, Josh Rose and Storm Roux are in the frame to return to match action against the highly respected 2012 and 2013 J.League winners after missing Friday's Hyundai A-League defeat to Melbourne Victory as coach Phil Moss hinted he may ring the changes in the wake of the loss.
“There are some rotations that will probably take place," said Moss. "I’ve got to keep everyone fresh and make sure we rotate match minutes, so everyone has got the match fitness needed to perform at top level.
“Our performance was very encouraging, we are moving the ball a lot better and our defensive structure has been very strong, despite losing on the weekend. Tomorrow is a chance to prove to the Australian public that we are a quality outfit.
“This is a big game for us in the scheme of our ACL campaign. The boys love being back home, so expect a good performance from us tomorrow night.”
“It’s a privilege to play against a side of their standing in Asian football and we’re very much looking forward to the challenge.
“For them to go back-to-back is certainly no easy feat and they’ll certainly get the respect they deserve from us. It’s a challenge that we’re relishing that we know we’re up to and we’re ready for whatever they throw at us tomorrow night.”