Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has backed his players to rise above a taxing few days to take it up to hosts Suwon Bluebirds in the AFC Champions League
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Graham Arnold says his travel-weary and battle-fatigued Central Coast Mariners squad will not lack effort when they meet Suwon Bluebird in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday.
The Mariners had to keep their A-League title celebrations short on Sunday - having defeated the Western Sydney Wanderers in Sydney - due to an early flight to Korea the next morning, knowing they need a point to keep their chances of making the ACL's knockout stages in healthy condition.
"We have a great determination to reach the second round of the 2013 AFC Champions League," Arnold said via statement.
"However, we have a very difficult schedule for this game, and a massive challenge ahead of us. But it is a challenge we accept and one that we have to get on with. We will try and produce a very strong performance."
Arnold's side lies in third on the Group H table, with Guizhou Renhe in second on goal difference. Opponents Suwon sit bottom of the standings but are just one point from second place.
"Our aim is to try and get at least a point from Suwon. We will then need to win our home game against Kashiwa Reysol next week," Arnold said.
"Hopefully, by matchday six, [group leaders] Kashiwa Reysol will have already qualified. It is then important that we win our home game and the result of the other group game between Suwon Bluewings and Guizhou Renhe falls favourably for us."
The Mariners have also announced a parade through Gosford on Friday to celebrate the club's maiden A-League championship.
"All season we have had great support from the people of the Central Coast and many fans from outside the region, too," Arnold said.
"While the fans will be cheering us on Friday, the parade will also be a great opportunity for us to acknowledge their efforts in supporting the club since its foundation.
"The supporters were fantastic on Sunday and we're delighted to have delivered them the Grand Final win they deserve."