Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss has praised midfielder Anthony Caceres following the Mariners' 3-0 F3 derby triumph over the Newcastle Jets at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday night.
Caceres opened the scoring for the Mariners and was joined by Daniel McBreen and Matt Simon on the scoresheet as the defending champions easily accounted for a Jets outfit playing their first match under interim coach Clayton Zane.
With Caceres retaining his spot in the starting eleven despite captain John Hutchinson returning from a suspension Moss was pleased the selection gamble paid off.
"I've got wraps on him because of what I see him do on the training pitch every day and I know what he is capable of and with games he will get more confidence and he will have more of an impact on games," Moss said.
"I thought he had a steady game last week and I thought he did well.
"It was a big decision for me this week to leave Hutch (skipper John Hutchison) on the bench but I just thought the performance from the team and Caceres individually was good enough to warrant leaving him in the team."
However, Moss also issued a note of caution about placing too much pressure on the youngster as the solution to the Mariners playmaking problems caused by the departure of Michael McGlinchey and the season-ending injury to Marcos Flores.
"He doesn't need big wraps at the moment," he added.
"He is just finding his feet as a first-grader and a professional footballer we just need to go steadily with him, but he has got all the attributes to be a very good player."
Elsewhere Moss took plenty of positive from the emphatic win.
Due to play the Roar in Brisbane next week the first-half goal-fest is a timely boost for Central Coast's strike-force who have been wasteful at times in front on goal this season.
"Our first half was right up there, I think we raised the bar from last week particular because of our execution, we took our chances," the Mariners coach said.
"I can't remember the last time we scored two goals from outside the box…that is something we have addressed this week and it's great to see it come off because of you don’t shot you don't score
Analysing the sides other goal, scored by Simon from Mile Sterjovski's corner kick deep into first-half injury-time, Moss stated the goal was "straight off the training pitch from yesterday and it just worked to perfection."
The former northern Spirit man noted: "We have always put a lot of emphasis on our set pieces.
"It's one area in a game of football were you can really manufacture a goal-scoring opportunity so we spend a lot of time on them and take a lot of care."
Moss said the side is still working towards a perfect performance
"In the second half I was happy with a few things but I think we left ourselves open," he continued.
"We are still striving for that complete performance, of course you don't want it that early in the season we will save that for later in the season."
Moss confirmed the Mariners won't be looking at signing Japanese midfielder Yukihiro Yamase who had trailed with the club this week but said there will "definitely be a couple of signings before the end of the transfer window."