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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.

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."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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