Central Coast Mariners might be the current Hyundai A-League benchmark, but Melbourne Heart FC captain Fred believes his side has nothing to fear ahead of tonight’s clash in Gosford.
Central Coast Mariners might be the current Hyundai A-League benchmark, but Melbourne Heart FC captain Fred believes his side has nothing to fear ahead of tonight-s clash in Gosford.
The Brazilian play-maker and Heart-s midfield director is set to make a milestone 50th appearance against the Mariners this evening, but despite a contrast in form between the two sides, Fred insists Heart can come away with a positive result.
While the form book favours the hosts, both historically and in recent matches, Heart have received an important shot to the arm as they look to end the Mariners- impeccable home record this campaign.
In four matches at Bluetongue Stadium, the Mariners have a 100 per cent record, while Graham Arnold-s men have dropped just one match this season – and won seven of the past eight.
Only the Newcastle Jets have knocked off the front runner in round three, but the Mariners avenged that loss last week, while Arnold-s side have claimed the scalp of Adelaide United, brushed aside Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar and smashed seven past Sydney FC.
However, Heart can draw confidence from last week-s win over Perth, courtesy of a dramatic late winner from super sub Golgol Mebrahtu, and the return of the team-s Qantas Socceroos representatives.
“[The win was] good for the confidence,” Fred said.
“We hadn-t beaten Perth for a long time – pre-season or in the first game. It-s great to win at home in front of our fans.”
“We can create chances against any team in the league, especially when we can keep the ball.
“I think we-re in the same position as last year.
“We-ve had some changes with players and we have some good players. I think we-re in a good way.”
Fred admitted there was no hiding the fact that the Mariners have been the form side so far in 2012.
“They-re a very good team, good defensively,” Fred said.
“So we have to be patient to get through and keep the ball as long as possible.
Feeling “much better” after surgery on his groin in the off season, Fred is hoping to string together a number of strong performances, starting tonight.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself, trying to do things that I used to be able to do,” Fred said.
“But I-m getting fitter and I hope I can help the team to three points.”
Hyundai A-League Round 11 – Ins and Outs
Friday, 14 December 2012
Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne Heart
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium
Kick off: 7:30 PM
Referee: Lucien Laverdure
Assistant referee 1: Sarah Ho
Assistant referee 2: Scott Edeling
Fourth official: Tim McGilchrist
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1HD and Delayed telecast on Sky Sports 3.
ABC Radio Coverage – 720 & ABC Local Radio Western Australia, 1233 ABC Newcastle, Grandstand Digital and Online
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvMH. Follow us @MelbourneHeart
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets