Superstar set to start in Gosford

With Luis Garcia set for his first start, Fabio Ferreira believes lowly Central Coast can be the side to end Adelaide United’s Hyundai A-League unbeaten run.

While the Reds head to Gosford after Tuesday night’s heart-breaking ACL play-off loss to Chinese Super League outfit Shandong Luneng, they haven’t lost in the A-League for ten matches.

It’s a different story in Gosford with the Mariners coming off a 4-0 loss to Brisbane Roar last weekend and four points adrift at the bottom of the ladder.

But after three substitute appearances, Liverpool legend Garcia is expected to play from the start at Central Coast Stadium in a massive boost. 

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And Ferreira feels they are ready to halt the Adelaide juggernaut.

“It will be good for us, obviously [Garcia’s] a very good player, with a lot of experience and great quality. 

Mariners star Luis Garcia on the ball during his side's 4-0 loss to Brisbane Roar.

“Hopefully we can take advantage of that as well and I’m looking forward for him to start the game,” the Portuguese told reporters on Wednesday.

“I believe if everybody has got the mentality and confidence and head in the game and if we start the game like we have in a few games this season, we can actually win the game,” the Portuguese flyer added.

“For that the team has to want to take the game [to Adelaide].”

Ferreira says Sunday’s clash against his old club – where he spent three successful years – is just like any other game but he would love to score against them.

And he hopes their exertions on Tuesday night could work in the Mariners’ favour.

“They are going to be more fatigued than us, we’ll take advantage of that and on Sunday…we’ll be fresher,” the 26-year-old said.

“I have a lot of respect for Adelaide…[but] I want to win the game, score goals or assist and take the three points.

Mariners winger Fabio Ferreira dribbles with the ball alongside Reds defenders Tarek Elrich and Isaias.

“We just have to keep working hard and everyone has to be more confident and try to do the best they can.”

One player who has done that for the Mariners this season is youngster Michael Neill.

The 21-year-old has played mostly at left-back in his A-League career but been pushed into a midfield role lately by Mariners coach Tony Walmsley.

“I have enjoyed it. I haven’t really played there since I was probably 14 or 15 so it’s a new thing for me but I have to pick it up quick if I want to do well at this level,” Neill said.

“I’ve got a bit of an engine and like to run a lot so I can see the dynamics there. It’s working hard in defence and giving a little attack as well.

“For us young players it’s just about developing and learning as much as we can off the older guys like Monty [skipper Nick Montgomery] and Luis [Garcia].”

Central Coast Mariners captain Nick Montgomery.