Sunday, 15 December 2013 7:19 AM
Central Coast coach Phil Moss acknowledged his side copped a ‘good old-fashioned spanking’ in its 4-0 pasting at the hands of Adelaide United on Saturday, but is confident of a swift reaction this Thursday against Wellington.
The Mariners botched a swag of the most gettable chances imaginable, particularly early, which enabled the Reds to ride their luck and pile on the goals and hand the Mariners their equal heaviest-ever defeat.
Moss expects a much better showing against the Phoenix at Gosford.
“I’ve got a lot of boys in that dressing room who are hurting at the moment and the staff are hurting,” Moss said.
“But that’s a good sign because I know the fight and culture of the Mariners is to show a reaction when we have a below-par performance.
“We had a good old-fashioned spanking today in the end.”
Moss was pleased the manner in which is side created numerous golden opportunities, the likes of which he’d rarely seen in his time in charge.
But an inability to finish off a series of fine pieces of work, particularly in the first 45 minutes, proved fatal for the reigning Hyundai A-League champions.
“The first half was our undoing,” Moss said.
“In the first half alone we created enough chances to win a couple of games of football.
“When you don’t take them it affects confidence.
“Adelaide got one on the break and it was a bit of a battle from there.
“In the first half we played a style of football that I was very proud of. But if you create the chances, you have to take them.
“In 90 minutes I haven’t seen us create so many chances – that’s certainly a positive “I’m going to take out of the game, but there are areas we need to work on.”
Moss was happy to expand on a couple of those areas he identified as requiring improvement with the Mariners hovering on the brink of qualifying for the finals.
“At the contests, we weren’t strong enough in the 50-50s,” Moss said.
“That gave Adelaide a bit of momentum. And ball retention – we’re trying to force the pass too much and need to show a bit more respect for the ball.
“We’re a team that can hurt anyone on our day but you need to have the ball to do that.”