League heavyweights to put the pressure on Marist following big loss
Things won't get any easier for Marist in the Central League on Friday when they are again in Wellington, this time against one of the competitions heavyweight teams Wellington Olympic at Wakefield Park.
After last week's horrible 7-0 loss against Stop Out in the Hutt Valley the Marist team would have spent a lot of training on defending better than they have in the last two games.
The defence will be seriously hampered this weekend after strong central defender Robbie Yule was sent off against Stop Out for two yellow cards, but hopefully that will be more than covered if captain and one of the central league's class defenders Graham Craven returns from a hamstring strain that forced him to miss the Stop Out match.
Marist coach Shane Rufer admitted last week it was going to be a difficult season where his team needed to concentrate for the full 90 minutes, cut out the unnecessary errors - which have cost his team plenty of goals already this season - and just think about picking up points to stay up.
"Defending is a discipline," Rufer said. "And we have to be disciplined for the entire game."
"It's not just about the back four but about everyone playing doing their roles when we don't have the ball."
As for last week Rufer said that sometimes you just needed to wipe the result from your mind, think about putting the poor options right and move forward to the Wellington Olympic game in a positive mindset.
"We have to concentrate on our roles this week."
Marist will also be without striker Bart Rimnongrua who has a Muay Thai fight this week, while central midfielder Rhys Janes, who has been one of the standout players to date this season, is like Yule, suspended after also being sent off against Stop Out.
With Rufer needing to get his best possible team on the pitch he'll be waiting on the fitness of players before confirming his final squad.
The Marist women's side shouldn't have any problem getting past Stop Out at Memorial Park tomorrow in a Wellington women's league game.
Stop Out have been thumped twice this season but in a competition where goal difference might be the telling factor on who wins the league, coach Simon Lees will be hoping his players are able to win by a big margin.
In the men's Federation League, after two long trips to New Plymouth and Gisborne in their previous games Marist Reserves finally get a home derby match with Red Sox Manawatu to be played out at Ashhurst Domain.
Red Sox won their only game this season beating Massey University with a deserved 1-0 win.
In the other game Massey University meet Wanganui Athletic who have had a loss and a draw from their two games, at Wembley Park.