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Central Coast Mariners

Sacked Matildas coach Alen Stajcic named new Central Coast Mariners manager

00:13 GMT 12/03/2019
Alen Stajcic Matildas Australia
The former Matildas boss is making a return in the men's domestic league

Central Coast Mariners have sprung a surprise with the announcement of sacked Matildas coach Alen Stajcic as their interim manager for the rest of the A-League season.

The Gosford club has been looking for a temporary coach after parting ways with Mike Mulvey a few hours after the horrific 8-2 defeat to Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night.

Stajcic was revealed as the Mariners caretaker manager on Tuesday morning and will take over the role immediately to be in charge of the club's final six league games.

"I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners for providing me this opportunity,” Stajcic said.

"This is a club with a very rich history, which is something that everyone is committed to restoring.

"We’re well aware of the hard work ahead of us, but that starts now. I relish a challenge and can’t wait to get started."

It's an interesting decision by the Mariners, with Stajcic fired from his role as Matildas coach on January 19 after claims of a 'toxic culture' infiltrating the women's squad just months before the Women's World Cup.

Current assistant coach Nick Montgomery, a player with the club for five years, was originally favourite to be named as interim coach but appears to have been overlooked for the position, whole another ex-Mariners veteran John Hutchinson has been earmarked for the permanent job at the end of the campaign.

Stajcic has never coached men's football at a high level, having been in charge of the Matildas since 2014 and also winning the W-League twice with Sydney FC in 2009 and 2013.

While the appointment is only temporary, the Mariners will name a permanent coach after the end of the season leaving Stajcic in the perfect position to audition for the full-time role.

Stajcic's first match in charge will be Saturday's F3 derby against Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium - a fixture the Mariners haven't won home or away since April 2017.

Central Coast is rooted to the bottom of the A-League table with only seven points from their 21 matches and has lost their past two games 5-3 against Brisbane Roar) and 8-2 versus the Phoenix.