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Arnold ready for Wanderers battle

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold has sounded a warning to Western Sydney after his side’s 6-2 thrashing of the Melbourne Victory.

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold has sounded a warning to Western Sydney after his side’s 6-2 thrashing of the Melbourne Victory.

“Our home record is fantastic, so Western Sydney – get ready for Bluetongue,” Arnold said.

It was a throw-away line at the end of an eight-minute press conference but confirmed Arnold’s pride in his team and signalled their intent to hold on to top spot on the A-League ladder.

Coming into the match off a 1-0 loss in Perth, Arnold asked for a reaction from his team and they delivered thanks to a Michael McGlinchey hat-trick, Mitchell Duke brace and Nick Fitzgerald’s well-taken strike.

The result means the Mariners have now taken 28 points out of a possible 30 in their home matches this season.

“We wanted to put on a good performance tonight, and we were hot tonight,” Arnold said.

“I thought it could have been more.

“If we scored that penalty (which Daniel McBreen missed in the 66th minute) then it was definitely all over.

“The own goal gave them energy and gave them legs to get back into the game.”

Arnold was full of praise for hat-trick hero McGlinchey, who continues to impress after many questioned how the Mariners would cope without Tom Rogic.

“We are very happy and lucky we have re-signed him” Arnold said of the 26-year-old.

“I think he is in the best five players in the A-League.

“I think he goes by unnoticed sometimes with people not recognising how good he is.

“Playing for New Zealand, going to the World Cup and going to Olympic Games has really made him grow as a player. Playing international football regularly has given him a lot of belief and confidence in himself.”

Arnold said McGlinchey’s work ethic behind the scenes was a key to his form.

“He is always fit and always sharp, and I can’t remember a bad game he has played,” Arnold said.

Arnold said his greatest fear heading into the match was the Victory’s ability to counter-attack.

“They are so dangerous in transition and the way they go forward you have always got to be on your toes,” he said.

“They are most dangerous when the opposition have the ball. I know it sounds funny but when the opposition have the ball it is the time they can hit you on the break and hurt you.”

The former Socceroos mentor spoke about the responsibility the team’s seniors players took after the loss in Perth.

“We spoke about that (rebounding quickly) with our seniors players,” Arnold said.

“The senior players set the culture and set the standards, and if they maintain high standards the kids will come with them.”

The Mariners will have one light training session on Monday followed by a tactical run on Tuesday to prepare for their first home fixture in the AFC Champions League against K-League side Suwon Bluewings on Wednesday.

Sat 23 February, 2013
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