Walmsley: Mariners still eyeing finals

Interim Central Coast Mariners coach Tony Walmsley is confident Sunday’s win over Melbourne City can spark a late charge for the A-League finals.

The Mariners breathed new life into their slim finals hopes with a hard-fought 1-0 win in Gosford thanks to Fabio Ferreira’s second-half free-kick.

It was just their fourth win of a difficult campaign but has closed them to within six points of the top six with seven rounds to go.

“I’d like to think so. I’m a glass half full guy and an eternal optimist so why not?" Walmsley said.

“Adelaide are in a bit of a slump. I don’t want to fuel their fire but we’re going to go to down to Adelaide with a short turnaround [on Thursday] and to try and win the game.

“I told the boys yesterday ‘I already know when my end's up, it’s in eight weeks from now unless we make the finals I might get an extra couple of games in’ and that would be nice.”

Walmsley, who only took the helm of the side on Friday following the sacking of Phil Moss, joked the coaching caper was easy after a win in his first game in charge.

But he admitted the last few days had been tough on all associated with the Mariners.

“Good men lost their jobs so if you’ve got an ounce of compassion you will feel for them,” Walmsley said.

“But in professional sport it’s a ruthless business and you have to dust yourself down quickly and do what’s required and that’s what the players have done.

“It took time, they [Melbourne City] were the better team for the vast majority of the first half … Liam Reddy was outstanding in the first half and again in the last minute of the game as well.

“Second half we changed a few small things around and it gave us the lift that we needed.

“Credit to the players they took what we wanted on board exceptionally well and I’m proud of the way they went about their business today."

While Walmsley will stay in the interim role until the end of the season, he admitted he’ll have a big say in finding a new coach as well as the make-up of the squad for the 2015-16 campaign.

“I’m in the Ideal position to be coach of the team because I get first-hand experience of every player both off contract and on contract,” he said.

“It’s going to help the succession plan for next season and beyond. That will drive our recruitment both on the field and the coaching department in terms of what kind of coach we need.”