Central Coast’s McKinna ready for Newcastle after big round 1 win

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna says he is ready to take on rivals Newcastle Jets tonight.

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna says he is ready to take on rivals Newcastle Jets tonight.

After a brilliant round 1 win over reigning champions Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium, McKinna says his players are up to the challenge of taking on the Jets who defeated Wellington Phoenix 3-2 last week.

“It was a great win, and while we surprised a few people, it didn’t surprise the team,’ McKinna said.

“If tonight we get the three points then it’s a brilliant start, something we would have dreamed about, two wins after two hard games. That’s the target leading into the Sydney game (round 3).

“It won’t be easy, we’ll need to be at our best to beat a good Newcastle side, but in a local derby, you don’t need to get the boys up for it. The boys are up for it and look forward to the game.”

McKinna confirmed the loss of central defender Chris Doig to a calf injury but said he had the depth to cover him.

“He (Chris Doig) has had a huge influence on the team since he came in,” he added.

“I think his presence has given a few boys some confidence, which has spread on to others.

“I’m sure whichever way we go, whether it’s Boogs (Nigel Boogaard) or Pedj (Bojic) in the middle, they’ll step up and do the job Doigy was doing, and we’ll bring in either Dylan (Macallister) or Ahmad (Elrich) when we shuffle about.

“The squad is looking hungry and confident after a great win last week.”

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