Sydney set to strike a blow on the Central Coast

Clashes between Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners have always been titanic struggles and Sydney coach, John Kosmina expects nothing different when his team takes the field in Gosford this-evening.

Clashes between Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners have always been titanic struggles and Sydney coach, John Kosmina expects nothing different when his team takes the field in Gosford this-evening against one of its fiercest rivals.

Sydney has a good record at Bluetongue Stadium, with two wins and a draw from the four Hyundai A-League encounters played out at the ground, but Kosmina knows it will be tough to come away with thee points tonight.

“They get stuck in, they pressurise, they work hard,” said the Sydney mentor before heading north for the match. “They-ve got a great work ethic, and they-ll fight to the death.”

In last week-s opening round outing against the Melbourne Victory Kosmina had a severely under-strength side at his disposal, forcing him to take a more cautious approach to the contest.

“Last week to be honest I did go into the match a bit conservatively, given the amount of people we did have out and the types of players we did have available,” he said. “This week I think we can maybe be a little bit more positive in terms of getting forward.”

After claiming a valuable point from the nil all draw against Melbourne, Sydney has now set its sights on scoring its first win of the season, and to do that the players know they must score goals.

“The first game was always going to be pretty nervous and I think from now on you know we-re going to go out and attack and really take it to teams,” said striker, Alex Brosque ahead of his return from a one game suspension. “I think you-ll see a bit of a different squad and a different attitude from now on.”

Tonight-s match will see midfielder, Stuart Musialik make his first start for Sydney after recently returning from the Olyroos- campaign in Beijing.

“Didn-t really get to have much of a pre-season with the boys because we were away with the Olympic team and all that sort of thing,” said Musialik before his debut. “It-s been a little bit of an interrupted pre-season but training-s been very sharp this week and new club, and especially with the game against the Central Coast, I-m definitely looking forward to it.”

His Olyroos team-mate and fellow new recruit, Mark Bridge made a cameo appearance late in the game last week against Melbourne, shortly after hopping off the plane from China.

With a full week-s recovery now under his belt the young striker will start tonight against the Mariners and he-s hoping to put a few past his good friend, Danny Vukovic between the Central Coast sticks.

“He-s already rung me saying please don-t score after the Grand Final, but yeah, I can-t wait to play him again and hopefully make him miserable before his five weeks off,” said Bridge with a smile.

Tonight-s round two contest kicks off at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford at 7pm.

Saturday 23 August Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC Bluetongue Stadium Local Kick-Off 7.00pm AEST Referee. Ben Williams

Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 3 and Sky Sports 3. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner Coast FM (Gosford) 96.3FM. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au

Central Coast Mariners Squad. 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Bradley PORTER, 6. David D'APUZZO, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 9. Nik MRDJA, 10. Adrian CACERES, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 13. Paul O'GRADY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Matthew OSMAN, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21. Ahmad ELRICH, 22. Sasho PETROVSKI, 40. Mark BOSNICH (gk) *two to be omitted.

In. 11. Dylan MACALLISTER (Returns from Injury), 16. Nigel BOOGAARD (Returns from Injury), 40. Mark BOSNICH (New signing). Out. 30. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk) (International Duty - Qantas Young Socceroos). Unavailable. 2. Andre GUMPRECHT (Knee - Indefinite), 8. Dean HEFFERNAN (Leg - Indefinite), 12. Greg OWENS (Hamstring - Indefinite), 23. Mile JEDINAK (Groin - Indefinite).

Sydney FC Squad. 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 7. Robbie MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 16. Chris PAYNE, 17. Jacob TIMPANO, 18. Adam CASEY, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 25. Robert MILESKI, 26. Dez GIRALDI *One to be omitted

In. Alex Brosque (return suspension), Stuart Musialik (return national duty), Dez Giraldi (return suspension). Out. Nik Tsattalios (national duty - Qantas Young Socceroos), Ryan Walsh (trial period ended). Unavailable. Tony Popovic (virus - 1 week), Adam Biddle (ankle injury - 1 week), John Aloisi (foot injury - 1 week), Mitchell Prentice (suspended - 1 week) Brendon Santalab (thigh injury - 2 weeks) and Mike Enfield (knee injury - 6 weeks).

* Head-to-head. All matches (played 10): Central Coast Mariners wins 3, Sydney FC wins 5 (2 draws). In Gosford (played 4): Central Coast Mariners wins 1, Sydney FC wins 2 (1 draw).