Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss has admitted his punt on signing Malick Mane failed and says there’s no guarantee they’ll fill their visa spots before the transfer window closes.
The struggling Mariners secured the services of Portuguese winger Fabio Ferreira from Adelaide United earlier this week, taking their visa players to three out of a possible five.
The club recently cut loose Mane and Korean midfielder Kim Seung-Yong, meaning they do have room to add imports.
In Moss' first off-season in charge, Central Coast looked for foreign talent in unfamiliar territory, recruiting Senegalese striker Mane on loan from Norway, while also adding Hungary youth international Richard Vernes.
Vernes hasn’t been able to become a regular but has played eight games and scored one goal, while Mane fell out with teammates after failing to settle at the club.
Their inability to make an impact hasn’t helped the Mariners, who had hoped a positive run of results prior to the Asian Cup break, which included ending their 13-game winless run, would be the catalyst for a turnaround in their season.
Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing from Sydney FC suggested not, but Moss insisted he wouldn’t rush into any signings ahead of the midnight February 2 transfer deadline.
“I’ve been looking around,” Moss told FourFourTwo. “I’ve been spending long late nights on the phone and looking at WyScout, but it has to be the right fit.
Moss has added locals Travis Major and Dejan Pandurovic in recent weeks, but said he wouldn’t add overseas players just to fill the club’s roster.
“There’s no doubting the Malick Mane experiment didn’t work,” he said.
“It has to be the right fit. I’m not just going to sign a player for the sake of it, if I didn’t think he could take the squad to another level in the second half of the season.”
The Mariners, who reached the semi-finals last season, have only managed two A-League wins this season.
The club lost a number of key players last term, including Trent Sainsbury, Daniel McBreen, Michael McGlinchey and Bernie Ibini.
Moss said he had full faith in the current brigade to turn around their woes.
“I have an extremely high belief in the players that we have,” Moss said.
“We’ve got players who were finding their form towards the back end of the first half of the season.
“I’m expecting that to go to a whole new level in the back half of the season.
“What really kept the belief amongst the squad was that we feel we deserve more results than we got out of our performances.
“Now it’s about turning good football into effective football and winning football.”comments