Rose aiming to be a thorn in Arnold's side

Veteran Central Coast Mariners defender Josh Rose said Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold was and still is a mentor to him, but none of that will matter for 90 minutes as the two teams desperately seek a win at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.

Rose

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The Sky Blues need three points to try to get back in the race for the finals, having slipped to seventh off the back of an eight-game winless run that includes five losses. They are three points behind sixth-placed Melbourne Victory with four rounds to go. 

The last-placed Mariners, coming off six straight losses and having already been condemned to the club's first wooden spoon, need the three points to try to start restoring some pride before the long off-season break.

Rose played for Central Coast under Arnold in the 2012-2013 grand final, in which they beat Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0. John Hutchinson, now assistant coach at the Mariners, also played in that game. Current Mariners captain Nick Montgomery would have played, but was out suspended.

The players in that great Mariners team, which also included Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and Socceroos central defender Trent Sainsbury, are known to remain tight and they maintain great respect for Arnold as well. He is the same with them.

"'Arnie' was a big part of my life when I first moved to the Mariners and I spent a good three-and-a-half years with him there," Rose said.

"He's not just a coach when he's in charge of a team, he takes more of a personal role in your life as well and helps you with all situations, so you definitely get very, very close to him and, yeah, we still talk and he helps me out a lot, on and off the field.

"We talk fairly regularly, or we'll send the odd text. When he does well I'll congratulate him and vice versa. He's been a mentor to me, very much so. I think he enjoys that role of mentoring his players as much as coaching them."

But when the pair go head-to-head in a game, the professional in 34-year-old Rose takes over and he shuts everything else out.

"Yeah, definitely, it's not hard to do that," he said. "I've played against previous coaches and team-mates many times over the years. As soon as game-day comes the build-up takes over and once you get out on that field it's all about your team and doing your job."

After the game against Sydney, the Mariners have tough away games against Adelaide United and the Wanderers, followed by a home-game derby against Newcastle Jets. Rose said it was vitally important Central Coast put a smile on their fans' faces in the time that is left.

"We've had a very tough season and the rest of the season for us is about trying to restore some pride," he said.

"Especially with the two games left at home. We really want to win these home games and give the fans something to cheer about before the season's up.

"We want to give something back to those who have stood by us.

"Sydney have been struggling the last few weeks and every game for them now is like a little grand final to try to get themselves back into that top six, so it's going to be a tough game, but we're definitely going out for the win."

Rose said that beyond the last month of the regular season, the crucial thing for everyone at the club was to review the season honestly and make sure they fix things going into next season.

"We need to get things right on the field and that comes down to us, as players, and the coaching staff," he said. "The club will need to recruit well in the off-season and the players will need to step up and do a better job.

"We can't just write this season off, we need to look at it and review it and see where we went wrong and learn from our mistakes.

"As players we've made a lot of mistakes and we need to learn from that. If we do, we can be better for it next season."


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4 min read
Published 18 March 2016 at 12:13pm
By Greg Prichard
Source: SBS