Mariners’ Dutch midfielder demands improvement for Victory clash

Dutch midfielder Wout Brama says the Central Coast Mariners know what they need to do to turn their eye-catching performances into Hyundai A-League wins.

And ahead of Sunday’s clash with winless Melbourne Victory in Gosford, it’s as simple as tightening up at the back.

Paul Okon’s side have been in winning positions in all three of their matches this season, but have just one point to show for it.

“It’s now been three games in a row that we are leading and at the end we are losing points, so we need to improve on that,” an honest Brama said.

“As a team, we have to defend better. We’ve now conceded nine goals in three games so we need to stick to our game plan but defensively as a team we have to improve.

“We know how we can play football and at moments we have shown that. But as I said, if we do not collectively work to stop goals like this then it will be hard to win games.

“I think if we improve that, then there will be no doubt that points will come. I’m sure of that.”

The former FC Utrecht man has made a strong start to his Hyundai A-League career, improving in every game and grabbing his first goal in last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Perth Glory.

Mariners celebrate their second goal

The focus this week has been all about finding a way to beat Victory, with the Mariners winless in their last 12 clashes with Kevin Muscat’s side.

“We played Melbourne Victory in the pre-season but pre-season is never the same as competition, it will be a hard game,” Brama said.

“They are a quality side, a lot of quality attackers, they have not collected as many points as they expected as well, so I think that they are in the same position as us and they will want to win but hopefully not as much as us.

“Our first home game we had 12 000 people in round one and now we want to give them something back and put in a performance that they will be proud of.

“As a team, we want to fight and show the supporters that we are ready to take three points.”

The Mariners will wear a special pink kit on Sunday in a special fundraiser for women’s cancer support services on the Central Coast.

Since 2012, the Mariners have raised almost $80 000 by donning pink jerseys, followed by an online auction of the kits along with bucket collections at the game.