Central Coast Mariners’ Simon lauded by Arnold

Matt Simon played a slightly different role last night in the Central Coast Mariners’ 1-0 win over Melbourne Heart.

The man who has often been the goalscoring answer for the Mariners was deployed by new coach Graham Arnold in a more defensive forward role with the main objective to quell the influence of Heart midfielder Josip Skoko.

Arnold was full of praise for Simon’s performance, saying he did a great job in enabling the Mariners to kick off the season with a maximum three points on the road.

“Our main object at the start was to stop (Josip) Skoko and Matty Simon I thought was top shelf today. Defensively he did a great job on Skokes,” Arnold said.

“He’s a bloke that can play anywhere. You put him at centre back he will play centre back. He’s got a great character, a great work rate and I like him to face play in that number 10 role. (It’s) more of a running role, I thought he was quite dangerous.”