New Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss does not believe off-field dramas at the club are affecting the defending A-League champions despite a lacklustre performance in a scoreless draw with Melbourne Victory.
A flat Central Coast were lucky to escape with a point against a rampant but wasteful Victory on Friday night at Bluetongue Stadium.
The match was Moss’s first home game in charge and came amid a week of distractions off the pitch at the club.
General manager and former majority owner Peter Turnbull parted ways with the Mariners and was farewelled at half-time on Friday along with title-winning coach Graham Arnold, who is taking over Japanese club Vegalta Sendai.
Central Coast denied it was pulling out of the Asian Champions League due to the financial burden but admitted it had asked Football Federation Australia for help.
Mariners owner Mike Charlesworth also had to reject speculation the club was considering a move to North Sydney.
However, Moss said the off-field issues had nothing to do with the below-par effort against Victory but admitted the “whole club is going through a transition period at the moment and we’ve got to work hard to get through the other end.”
He said the team was focused on generating an improved display in next week’s round nine clash with Sydney FC at Gosford.
“These things that happen around the football team are part and parcel of sport,” Moss said.
“There’s been no problem in the dressing room, there’s been no distractions with what’s gone on around the team.
“We’ve got a good turnaround now between tonight and Sydney FC next Saturday night, so there’s plenty of time to get stuck in on the training pitch.”
One ace up Moss’s sleeve is last season’s Golden Boot, Daniel McBreen, who came off the bench to spark the hosts in the final 29 minutes against Victory.
Returning from a stint in China, McBreen played 90 minutes against Brisbane in round five but was restricted to only 11 minutes against Perth last week due to illness.
Moss indicated McBreen would push Mat Simon for a starting position up front against the Sky Blues.
“We had a bit of work to do with Macca when he came back from China,” Moss said.
“By his own admissions, they didn’t do a lot of short sharp stuff when he was in China. It was mainly endurance.
“So we’ve got him pretty close to where we want him now, so he will come back into calculations.”