A-League can match it with bigger Asian clubs – Central Coast’s Simon

Central Coast Mariners striker Matt Simon believes Australian clubs are bridging the gap with the bigger clubs in Asia.

Central Coast Mariners striker Matt Simon believes Australian clubs are bridging the gap with the bigger clubs in Asia.

Despite both of this year’s A-League teams (Central Coast and Newcastle Jets) struggling in the Asian Champions League, Simon believes there isn’t a huge gap in the level of ability of the teams.

Three weeks ago, the Mariners lost 5-0 at home to Japanese club Kawasaki Frontale but Simon says that result should not used when rating the teams.

“Sitting at the top of the grandstand watching the game, I believe five mistakes from ourselves gave them five goals,” Simon told Goal.com.

“I don’t think they were a five-goal better team than us; I was confident that with a game plan in Kawasaki we could match them.”

In the return match in Japan, the Mariners were much-improved but eventually lost 2-1 due to a late Kawasaki goal, a result that did not reflect the visitors performance.

“It’s pretty devastating to not get anything from the game, considering the 5-0 defeat a couple of weeks before,” Simon added.

“I thought we stuck to our game plan quite well and coming back from that 5-0 defeat and to not get anything from a game we deserved was pretty devastating in the end.

“No, I don’t think [there is a gulf in class].

“They obviously have big budgets at their clubs and we’re nowhere near that but I think we showed going into the second match that we can match it these teams.

“They train every day and so do we as well; we get paid a salary and that’s just the way football is in Australia.”

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