Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss will rest eight of the side that beat Newcastle on Saturday for Tuesday’s FFA Cup quarter-final against Palm Beach.
Central Coast boss Phil Moss will give youth a chance to shine in his team’s FFA Cup quarter-final against Palm Beach Sharks on Tuesday.
The Mariners flew up to the Gold Coast on Monday without eight of the side that beat Newcastle in Saturday’s A-League opener, with Nick Montgomery, Josh Rose and new signing Malick Mane among those given the night off ahead of this weekend’s clash with Wellington.
But Moss insists he’s not taking the Queensland Northern Premier League outfit lightly, despite their opponents having not played a competitive game for a month.
“I’ve got a squad of 24 all desperate to play in the first 11,” Moss said.
“The squad will be the team that’s selected to win the game.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s FFA Cup or the A-League it’s a game of football … a cup game where a full-time club is up against a semi-professional club.
“They’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. They will be sentimental favourites.”
The Sharks side boasts A-League experience in the form of former Gold Coast United defender Kristian Rees and Wellington Phoenix centre-half Karl Dodd and Moss said the game will be a good test for his side.
“We have to learn to handle expectation we are a quality side and don’t get the respect we deserve,” he said.
“One result doesn’t make a season but we’ve had a good start.”
Young left-back Mickey Neill will make his competitive debut for the Mariners in place of Rose after impressing in pre-season where he came up against Melbourne City’s Damien Duff in a trial fixture in Lismore.
Neill will replace the experienced Rose and is determined to use the game to stake a claim for a regular spot in Moss’s side.
“The coach said I was close to being named on Saturday and now I’ve got the chance I have to show him what I can do,” Neill told AAP.
“I marked Duff when we played against Melbourne City and he was class.
“I learned a hell of lot from playing against him, his speed of thought and decision making were outstanding.
“He didn’t say much on the field to me and my first tackle on him was a foul.
“But overall I did OK and got a lot of confidence from it.”