Arnold proud of his Mariners after draw in tough conditions

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold was full of superlatives for his players after they ground out a 1-1 draw in last night’s clash with Melbourne Heart.

Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold was full of superlatives for his players after they ground out a 1-1 draw in last night’s clash with Melbourne Heart.

Flash flooding in Melbourne forced the game back by over an hour and the match was played in trying conditions.

The Mariners fought well to gain a point and enhance their chances of finishing in second spot and their performance, after the stop-start nature of the fixture, was not lost on Arnold.

“It wasn’t an easy surface to play on, it was wet and it was fast and I think we did well in the end, I’m happy with a point,” said Arnold.

“We were very keen to play the game tonight because we have a game on Wednesday night away to the Gold Coast so we’re happy that the game was played.

“Mentally it was difficult for the players, they had to warm up three or four times, they kept getting the message that they were going to inspect the pitch at ten past eight, half past eight and ten to nine so they had to be ready to go out on three different occasions which I feel probably had an impact on players.

“It’s not very often the players finish a game at 11 o’clock at night, but we’re glad it is out of the way.

“I thought we were the better side, I thought we had the better chances and we looked the more likely team to score. I was just a little bit disappointed that in the first half in transition when we won the ball we didn’t keep the ball for one or two passes after which is what we have been doing very well of late.

“I’m extremely proud of the boys, we have got two games to go and we will get on with it and try to seal second spot. One point tonight really helps a lot.”

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