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Jan 31, 2010

Hutchinson puts hand up as Mariners sink

Vice-captain John Hutchinson has accepted blame for the Central Coast Mariners' failure to reach the A-League finals and he wants the rest of the players to join him.

The Mariners have featured in three of four A-League finals series and have made the grand final twice so to have the top-four extended to a top-six and miss out is something they find hard to accept after their hopes were dashed by Sunday's 3-1 loss in Perth.

Going into December the Mariners looked certain to be playing finals, but they've since lost six of nine matches and have not won since beating North Queensland on November 21.

Hutchinson, who has been part of the Mariners since the inception of the A-League, believes the decline should be sheeted home to the players.

"It's devastating really. Disappointing doesn't sum it up," said Hutchinson.

"I don't think we deserved to be (in the finals) after the last 10 weeks and the players have to stand up and take responsibility for what happened," Hutchinson said.

"At one stage we were second or third on the ladder and to now be fighting it out for the wooden spoon, it's horrible.

"Players need to take responsibility, you can't keep throwing it back in the faces of the coaching or the club.

"I'll take responsibility from my side of it being vice-captain and maybe not saying something or letting some things go.

"If we maybe put our foot down and worked a bit harder at training, sometimes worked harder in the game, it could have had a different result."

Coach Lawrie McKinna saw three draws in the previous three matches as games the Mariners should have won, but Sunday's loss to Perth simply came from two terrible defensive efforts inside the opening 12 minutes which handed the Glory two goals.

"In the first 50 seconds a long punt up the park should have been cleared and it wasn't and Daniel McBreen pops up and it's a goal and then the second goal. We were down 3-0 and two of the goals were shockers," McKinna said.

"Lack of concentration, not switched on at the beginning of the game, it could be a vast amount of things but you wouldn't expect those mistakes in an under-10 team, they were basic mistakes and the players know that."

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