Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory were hoping to bulld on their winning momentum on Saturday when they faced the Central Coast Mariners at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Sitting in the middle of the A-League ladder with a 3-0-3 record (nine points), the Victory were hoping to get to above .500 on the year.
One player that was expected to start on Saturday against Central Coast was midfielder Isaka Cernak, who is filling in for Gui Finkler due to his groin injury.
“We want to give Isaka an opportunity,” Postecoglou told melbournevictory.com.au. “We think that he’ll fit our style of play, he’s that kind of player. “He’ll just come in for Finkler and play the same role. Obviously we don’t really want to disrupt things too much from what we’ve been doing so he’ll just replace Gui.
“Like every week, we give somebody else an opportunity now and for all the players, it’s about them trying to adapt to how we play. And, as we go along, we’re finding out who can and who can’t, so it’s his opportunity tomorrow.”
Young gun Andrew Nabbout has been a lightning rod this year for the Victory and would start in place of Archie Thompson.
“He’s a very good kid and he trains hard. He comes in and just does his work and gets on with it,” defender and captain Adrian Leijer told Patrick Sexton for melbournevictory.com.au. “He said to me yesterday that he is over it (the Sydney game) already and wants to focus on Saturday.
“That’s the sign of the kid and it’s fantastic for him. It’s a great occasion for him, it’s his third game and he’s already a cult hero at the club.”
Nabbout was in on goal in the 10th minute and so was Mark Milligan in the 40th minute of play, but a brace from the red-hot Daniel McBreen combined with the Victory’s inability to take advantage of being a man up in the second half consigned Melbourne to a 2-2 draw with the Central Coast Mariners.
Despite the setback, Melobourne currently sit in fifth place in the ladder with a 3-1-3 record (10 points) and will aim to build on their unbeated run next week when they travel to Parramatta Stadium in Sydney to take on the new boys, the Western Sydney Wanderers, on Nov. 24.