Craig Deans discusses the disappointing loss against the Mariners and what the team will focus on this week at training.
Saturday night marked the second F3 Derby of the season and we were disappointingly defeated by the Central Coast Mariners, 2-0.
Looking down the gun barrel of week ten, we are yet to walk away with an away game win.
Our away game losses have purely been due to our mental state. Gary and I are not interested in excuses about weather and travel; at the end of the day, home or away, it is still the same game of football and there are still three points up for grabs.
We just need to be hungry enough to take them - if you can win at home, you can win away.
Saturday night-s loss to the Central Coast Mariners was unfortunate for a number of reasons - the most obvious being that it was a derby game and one that both teams and their fans look forward to most.
We need to keep our focus, especially during derby games, as we sometimes over think it and we let the game get the better of us.
On Saturday night we forgot about the task at hand and the Mariners stormed home. They displayed some extremely talented football - well organised and extremely disciplined.
Although we didn-t take victory we still put up a good fight. We managed to keep the Mariners at 1-nil for the first hour of the game and maintained a certain level of intensity throughout, which was impressive. It was our inconsistencies, however, that let them steal their second goal.
On a more positive note, Sung-Hwan Byun was given the all clear by the doctor-s late last week. He had been experiencing some irregularities with his heart but he-s bounced back well.
Having played a full match on Saturday and back training at 100 per cent we are extremely pleased that he is okay. Byun is such a professional and he deserves to play alongside his teammates.
This week-s training will see us working on the little things - keeping our focus on our execution and decision making skills in the attacking third. We have been working on these aspects for the last couple of weeks, but patience with the ball is paramount, especially if we want to win.
We host Sydney FC this weekend and I anticipate it to be a difficult match. Sydney have been playing well lately, having been the only team so far to defeat Brisbane Roar. However, if we stick to our game plan and focus on the task at hand I have no doubt we will put up a gruelling fight for those precious points.