Michael McGlinchey plays his last game for the Mariners. Image courtesy of couriermail.com.au/Tony Feder/Getty Images
It was no surprise to see Melbourne Heart move swiftly last weekend in cutting ties with John Aloisi after 17 straight games without an A-League victory. The club has gone back to inaugural boss John Van’t Schip, who led Heart to the club’s best placing of 6th in the 2011-12 season. Nine points adrift of Perth and Wellington, the Dutchman has a massive job ahead of him to even get his team to avoid the wooden spoon.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing this week for Central Coast , either. Japan-bound Kiwi forward Michael McGlinchey slammed home an injury time winner as the Mariners beat Perth 2-1 midweek, in his second last match for the club for the time being, but there was more drama at the end of the week. Marcos Flores, who was dropped for the Glory match, seriously injured his knee at training and will be on the injured list for the rest of the season. The Argentine was just starting to find his feet in Gosford and without him and McGlinchey moving forward, coach Phil Moss is without two of his best attacking weapons for the immediate future.
For a team which has shown amazing consistency over the past few seasons, the Mariners, surprisingly, haven’t managed back-to-back wins this campaign. They won’t get a better chance this year than coming up against a team which has racked up the longest winless run on the road in A-League history. Heart has lost all four times it has visited Bluetongue Stadium. Despite a lack of punch up front this season, the Mariners are still stable at the back and have kept teams scoreless in six of their last 11 home games, and in that run they haven’t conceded more than one goal in any encounter.
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