Biddy Kates Marlborough Mariners coach Paul Finnegan is hoping a two-week layoff won’t affect his side too badly when they head over the hill to take on Nelson Metro in a round 15 Nelson division one league clash tomorrow.
Marlborough’s flagship side had their game against Richmond on July 7 rained off, while last weekend’s match at home to Nelson Suburbs had to be deferred by mutual agreement after Suburbs were unable to gather enough players.
The break came just at the wrong time for Mariners, who were on a roll leading into the all-important Richmond game, producing some strong form which saw them string together a nine-match unbeaten streak.
Finnegan said despite the bad timing, he remained confident his side would do the business and regain their momentum against a bottom-of-the-table Metro outfit yet to win a game this season.
“We had no training last week because the grounds were closed, but we had a really good session on Tuesday.
“After two weeks off we really need to keep our standards up and if we bring the intensity from Tuesday into the match we should be fine.”
Mariners have easily dispatched Metro in their two encounters this season, collecting a 7-0 away win and a 5-0 victory at home in wet conditions. Given the weather both Marlborough and Nelson had been having over the past couple of weeks, Finnegan expected the Victory Square pitch to be similarly boggy, but said it wouldn’t change their approach.
“I’ve put a real emphasis on shape and keeping that at all times. We’ve played simple, but attractive football [in recent matches] and we have to keep that going no matter what.”
He said the two resounding wins over Metro weren’t that relevant because the cellar dwellers had improved since then and his side couldn’t afford to take anyone lightly after a two-week break.
Aside from unavailable skipper Aaron Vercoe, Mariners have the fully fit squad making the trip to Nelson.
The match will be the last for midfielder Scott Hannon before he heads off to France to take up a job opportunity.
Richmond tackle Nelson United and Suburbs play Nelson College in the league tomorrow.
– The Marlborough Express