Mariners fine without Rogic: coach Arnold
Coach Graham Arnold says Central Coast's strong 'team first' culture has allowed them to seamlessly overcome the mid-season loss of star playmaker Tom Rogic.
Since Rogic left to play for Celtic in the Scottish Premier League three weeks ago, the Mariners have notched up two wins and a draw and scored 10 goals.
Six points clear at the top of the A-League following Thursday's 5-0 thrashing of Wellington, the Mariners' surge to a likely third Premier's Plate has been seemingly unaffected by Rogic's move to Celtic.
"I know there has been a little bit of talk out there that we have been down since Tommy Rogic left," Arnold said.
"But if I can just make a statement: three games without Tommy and 10 goals scored ..."
"Tommy is a fantastic player and we miss him here but the way (Michael) McGlinchey is doing the job and the way Bernie (Ibini) is doing the job, everyone is covering for the loss of Tommy.
"We are very proud of Tommy, that he is with Celtic.
"But because he is gone, because of the way we play, it doesn't mean (we fall apart).
"All the team, they know the structures and they know the way we play. If I had to, I could put Daniel McBreen at left fullback for 10, 15 minutes and he would know what he was doing."
Central Coast are two wins ahead of second-placed Melbourne Victory, who have a game in hand but a vastly inferior goal difference.
Arnold said he had set his side the target of 51 premiership points as they seek a second successive Premier's Plate.
"I've said to the boys, I want them to get to 51 points because that's where we were last year. And to get there, we just need to keep doing what we are doing."