Moss: The knives are out for Mariners

Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss says two “moments of sloppiness” cost his side any chance of a win against former coach Graham Arnold on Sunday night.

The Mariners conceded twice – once from a corner and then a free-kick - in the first half as Sydney FC cruised to a 2-0 win in front of more than 17,000 fans at Allianz Stadium.

“To concede two set pieces, you just can’t afford that at this level,” Moss said afterwards.

“If you look at last two games against Wellington and Sydney we’ve conceded four goals that were so avoidable and that’s an area we need to fix.

“On the positive side I thought we played some fantastic football in patches and I think those patches are getting more frequent.

“We’re starting to play football the way we wanted to play. I thought we caused Sydney all sorts of problems particularly in the second half.”

While Sydney were worthy winners thanks to goals from Terry Antonis and Sasa Ognenovski, the Mariners certainly had their chances to get back into the contest.

They had two headers cleared off the line in the first half while Mitchell Duke missed with a header just before the break and also had a penalty saved late on.

Despite those encouraging moments, it’s now two defeats from the opening three matches this season and Moss concedes the pressure is undoubtedly set to fall on his shoulders.

“The knives are out for us to finish eighth, ninth or tenth before a ball’s kicked in every season,” the Mariners boss said.

“It’s no different. We’ve had two losses on the trot now but it’s very strange situation to have a week off after two games of the season.

“We know go into a period after that (of 5 games in two weeks). We’ve got a glut of games coming up, everyone’s in great shape physically and mentally.

“We’re disappointed with tonight’s result but we know the areas we need to fix. If we keep playing way we did tonight we’ll be fine.”

Goalkeeper Liam Reddy missed the clash with a side strain but Moss is confident the custodian will be right to face Perth Glory next weekend.