Head coach Nick Montgomery is confident his squad is ready to battle Adelaide United. (Photo: Central Coast Mariners - Twitter)

The Central Coast Mariners are aiming for second spot on the A-League table as they take on Adelaide United at home in front of their loyal fans.

After defeating Melbourne Victory 2-1 last week, the Central Coast Mariners are hoping to go back-to-back against Adelaide this Saturday afternoon. In what will be the club’s first game since the departure of Socceroo Garang Kuol, they are hoping to continue their winning ways.

A graduate of the CCM Academy, Kuol made his debut in 2021 appearing 18 times in the yellow jersey. Having signed a contract with Newcastle United last year, he officially joined the Premier League club on January 1, 2023.

The Mariners will have the upper hand this week having their last three games against Adelaide in Gosford. Prior to this perfect run, the Mariners had only won one of the eight clashes between the two sides at Industree Group Stadium.

Proud of his team’s performance in recent weeks, coach Nick Montgomery is hoping they can continue their good form. Currently sitting two points away from the second spot on the A-League table, a win will guarantee them a higher spot if the Western Sydney Wanderers lose to Perth on Friday night.

“It is crucial that we capitalise on every home game. We know that we have a good record here in the last 12 or 18 months since I took the job,” Montgomery said.

“It is vitally important that you get as many points as possible from home games and try and pick them up when you are away. Nothing changes for us; we go and try to win the game and that is no different this weekend against Adelaide.”

Their opposition, Adelaide heads into the clash after a dominant 2-0 win against Perth Glory. Montgomery knows they will be a significant threat when attacking.

World Cup Socceroo Craig Goodwin will lead Adelaide’s attacking presence. The fan-favourite was back to his best last week, having his first standout performance since returning from Qatar. Posing a threat to the Mariners, Montgomery doesn’t want his squad to focus on one player.

Joining Goodwin in the attacking half are Ben Halloran and Hiroshi Ibusuki who have three goals to their name this season. Unafraid to take shots both players should be watched closely by Mariners defenders.

“We will take the game to the opposition but also respect them. They are a good team with some good players, obviously, Craig Goodwin is a big danger man for them, as he always is,” Montgomery said.

“Not only him, but they also have lots of good players and we will prepare for them like we do our opposition every week.

“We will look at their strengths and weaknesses, see how we can exploit them and most importantly focus on ourselves.”

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The Mariners will be without Garang Kuol for the first time this week after he was transferred to Newcastle United. (Photo: Twitter- @CCMariners)

Firmly eyeing the three points, Cameron Windust has been promoted to the squad in Kuol’s departure. While Moresche and Bradley Tapp will remain on the sidelines with injuries.

Providing an update on Moresche’s condition, Montgomery states he won’t be picked until he regains full fitness.

“Moresche is going well, he is obviously at the stage where he is looking to get back into full training. The reality is that he has had a bad injury, we won’t rush him,” he said.

“He is a special player, and we need to make sure that he is 100 per cent right before he comes into full contact.”

The Mariners will take on Adelaide United at their home venue of Industree Group Stadium on Saturday afternoon at 17:00 AEDT. The game can be watched exclusively on 10Play and Paramount+.

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