Mariners will go the extra Mile for Sterj

Adelaide United midfielder Cameron Watson believes the Mariners will be fired up to send retiring winger Mile Sterjovski off a winner when the two sides clash in the semi-finals.

Adelaide take on the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday in an elimination final. The Reds are coming off a surprise 2-0 defeat to Newcastle last weekend, while the Mariners have won four of their last five A-League matches.

Watson said Adelaide has put the disappointing loss to the Jets behind them.

“We had our chances but didn’t take them,” he said.

“They took advantage of their set pieces and the second goal we were trying to attack and sometimes that leaves yourself a bit vulnerable on the counter.

“Our preparation is going well, nothing has changed for this week. Everyone is really focused knowing that if we slip up it’s the end of the road for this year. The plan is what it has been all year.

The Mariners have been playing very well, so it’s important that we fine tune the little details to make sure we get the win.”

Central Coast lost 1-0 on Wednesday night to FC Seoul in the Asian Champions League, thanks to a late own goal, but has displayed strong form recently in the continental competition and in the A-League. Former Socceroo Sterjovski is hanging up his boots at the end of the season and his final game could be the Adelaide match if the Mariners lose.

Watson feels that with Sterjovski retiring there will be extra incentive for last season’s grand-final winners.

“They are very good on the counter as they have a number of players with pace,” he said.

“We will have to be switched on for 90 or 120 to try and nullify that. Everyone has trained this week and is ready to go. We’ve got no major issues which is great heading into such an important game.”