Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna has admitted his team experienced a tough first up encounter in the Asian Champions League. The Mariners drew 0-0 with Korean club Pohang Steelers in a humid and rain-soaked affair and although McKinna said it was tough, he knows now that his side can mix it with the best in Asia.
"As we said before the game - the first game is always the hardest, we didn't know a lot about Pohang, but once we got going we looked reasonably comfortable throughout the game," said McKinna after the match.
"Overall, with the run that we've had lately, to not concede a goal is a big stat for us and I think that we can build on that as we go through now.
"We're happy with the draw and probably think that we deserved a wee bit more, but comfortable with the result," added McKinna.
"There was some good football, some good following up, some good backing up and some good movement from both teams.
"After tonight, I'd say that the end of the last Hyundai A-League season is behind us now, we've kept a clean sheet and we can build on that in Tianjin."