Arnold cranks up pressure on Wanderers
Central Coast coach Graham Arnold has turned up the verbal heat on Western Sydney before Saturday's top-of-the-table clash by declaring the Wanderers have had more time this week to feel the pressure.
The vital A-League game represents the last leg of a massive series of three matches in eight days for the ladder-leading Mariners in Gosford.
They thrashed Melbourne Victory 6-2 last Saturday and drew 0-0 with South Korea's Suwon Bluewings on Wednesday in their first Asian Champions League group game.
Never averse to playing mind games, Arnold suggested the ACL game had proven a positive distraction for his side from the impending A-League blockbuster.
While his players will have had a more physically demanding week, Arnold suggested the second-placed Wanderers will have had more time to potentially stew under the pressure of a showdown between two heavyweight title contenders.
Arnold was incredulous when a journalist suggested after the Suwon game that the disappointment of not winning that match could affect his side going into Saturday's encounter.
''You're kidding aren't you ... no chance,'' Arnold said.
''The way we played against a top Asian team is worth about 35-0.''You draw 0-0 with them and you totally outplay them, the confidence is high.
''The performance was great.
''I think for Saturday's game this has been a great distraction for us.
''All the media are talking about Western Sydney and a lot have been talking about them being favourites and what a great experience it is going to be on Saturday night for them.
''We haven't even thought about it until probably today (Thursday).''So they've had six days to maybe build up the pressure and we've got one.''
Arnold said all 19 available players in his squad would be fit for the game.