Strain: Success-starved Mariners provide dangerous opponent for Reds

Adelaide United defender Ryan Strain says Central Coast’s barren run without success in recent years makes the Mariners a dangerous opponent in Wednesday night’s FFA Cup 2019 Semi Final.

Defending FFA Cup winners Adelaide head to Gosford looking to qualify for a third successive final in this competition.

In contrast, the Mariners are in the Semi Finals for the first time in five years and are looking to rebuild after back-to-back wooden spoons in the Hyundai A-League.

But Strain insists recent history means nothing and admits his side will be wary of a Mariners squad showing encouraging signs under Alen Stajcic.

“They definitely look better than they’ve been in their last few seasons,” Strain said of Central Coast on the Reds’ official website.

“They’ve brought a few good players in and have got a few good players back from injury.

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“We’re definitely not going to be complacent against them, they’re going to be really tough.

“Obviously it’s a massive game for them as well because there’s silverware on the line and they haven’t won silverware in a while so they’ll be pumped for it.

“So it’s going to be a really tough game but hopefully we can win and be in another FFA Cup Final.”

The Mariners’ impressive run to the last four has lifted spirits in Gosford with a bumper crowd expected at Central Coast Stadium on Wednesday.

Stajcic’s side warmed up for the clash with a dominant 7-1 win over NPL outfit North Shore Mariners this week.

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While the Reds will provide a huge step-up in class, midfielder Michael Mclinchey says the Mariners are ready for what is the club’s biggest match in many years.

"We’ve had most of our games away in the FFA cup so far, so it’s great to get that home draw and hopefully we can put on a show for [the fans,” he said.

“We have a massive month ahead for the club with the FFA Cup semi-final and then the opening game down at Western Sydney, so it’s exciting.

“It’s been a long pre-season but we’re ready for the semi-final now.”

You can still get tickets for Wednesday night’s match at Central Coast Stadium by clicking HERE. Kick-off is 7.30pm.