Central Coast midfielder Adriano Pellegrino believes the culture at the Mariners is a primary reason behind the club’s success.
Pellegrino, who played in the Hyundai A-League first-round draw with Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday, thinks Mariners coach Graham Arnold has instilled a special understanding among the playing group.
“I’ve been at three A-League clubs now and I have to say hands down that my time here at the Mariners – the morale and the atmosphere around the club – is the best I have ever been involved in,” Pellegrino, 28, said.
“I think that all starts from ‘Arnie’ (Arnold) and getting that culture around the team. It’s really hard to find that in a football club.
“I think that’s been the main reason the boys have been successful over the last two or three seasons.”
Pellegrino, who is in line to face one of his former clubs, Perth Glory, on Sunday, said the Mariners had learned from their opening-round draw.
“We took a lot of positives from our first game,” the former Adelaide City and Panachaiki midfielder said.
“We go out to win games and we set a plan to go out and take the three points. To give them (Wanderers) credit, they came out and running on adrenalin they made it difficult for us.”
The Mariners had the best defence in last season’s A-League, something Pellegrino was keen to talk up.
“Matt (Ryan) is phenomenal,” Pellegrino said of the Mariners’ goalkeeper.
“He’s a big talent. Seeing him in training day in and day out, you see just what he’s capable of and how well he uses his feet. It is an asset not many goalkeepers have.”