Central Coast Mariners remain as dangerous as ever in attack despite the departure of teenage sensation Garang Kuol.
That’s the belief of Adelaide United coach Carl Veart, whose side faces a tough assignment against the Mariners in Gosford on Saturday.
“That’s something that we have to be very mindful of,” Veart said.
“They’re very quick in transition so it’s important that we stay organised.
“They’ve got some really direct players that play up front, so it’s something that the defence have to be aware of.”
Socceroos young gun Kuol played his final game for the Mariners – a 2-1 home win over Melbourne Victory – last Saturday before leaving for the UK, where he has joined English Premier League club Newcastle United.
An immediate loan deal is likely, with Kuol already having gone to Scotland for talks with Hearts, who already have three other Socceroos – Kye Rowles, Cameron Devlin and Nathaniel Atkinson – on their books.
Mariners coach Nick Montgomery said it as important Kuol was given “time to adapt” regardless of the club he ended up playing for.
“He’s not my player anymore, he’s Newcastle’s” Montgomery said.
“They’re a top team and they’ve got good people working there, so no doubt they’ll try to find a club that fits him for the rest of the season to get out and get some game time.”
While Kuol has left the Mariners, a host of attacking threats remain in the Central Coast squad.
They include Socceroos marksman Jason Cummings, classy Brazilian Marco Tulio, Frenchman Beni Nkololo, Ghanaian Paul Ayongo, Sam Silvera and Michael Ruhs.
Adelaide coach Veart said: “It’s going to be a whole team effort that’s going to have to deal with their strike force … so it’s a matter of limiting (their) opportunities.
“They are (also) one of the hardest working teams in the league and if you don’t match their workrate, then you’re going to be in for a very tough night, but we go there with full confidence.
“We’re confident in the way that we play football that we can get success. It doesn’t matter who we play, whether we’re home or away, we go with that same mentality that we want to win.”
The Reds’ returned to winning form with a 2-0 Victory over Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium on Monday night.
“We have a target that we want to achieve as a playing group and that’s to make finals,” Veart said.
“We know where we need to be to get there and that’s all our focus is on.”