Arnold wants ruthless Mariners
Graham Arnold says his Central Coast Mariners side must find the killer instinct in front of goal to progress in the Asian Champions League.
On a wet night in Gosford on Wednesday the Mariners registered the first win of their 2013 Asian Champions League, beating Chinese side Guizhou Renhe 2-1.
According to Arnold, Central Coast were fortunate their profligacy in front of goal did not cost them the victory, having wasted a host of good chances.
"We made it hard for ourselves, we could have easily been three or four nil (up) before they scored and it was a very sloppy goal to give away," he said.
"We gave them some energy to get back into the game.
"To be able to get the three points and perform that way was exceptional."
A series of good saves from Guizhou goalkeeper Lie Zhang kept the visitors in the match after the Mariners took the lead courtesy of a 50th-minute goal to Pedj Bojic.
Zhang denied Bernie Ibini and Michael McGlinchey twice in a nine-minute spell early in the second half.
Veteran striker Daniel McBreen also sent a shot over the bar from close range, prompting Arnold to acknowledge an element of good fortunate in the Mariners' triumph, sealed by Trent Sainsbury's first goal for the club.
"In international football you don't get many chances to score, you have got to score the goals or take those chances," he said.
"You can really get hurt if you don't capitalise on your advantage and we didn't do that," Arnold said.
"Fortunately we got the second goal, but when it was one-all we had to go for it and we opened up quite a bit.
"Three points was a must tonight. It was either three or bust."
Arnold made significant changes from the team which defeated Melbourne Heart on Saturday and, with the A-League finals in mind, the coach confirmed he will "leave seven players at home" when they play the return fixture in China next Tuesday.
"The older players will stay behind," he said.
"I'll leave (fitness coach) Andrew Clark behind to train them to prepare for the preliminary final and the other 14 will go away and we will work hard and try and shut up shop and try to make us hard to beat.
"The most important thing is we are fit and healthy and we have continued the momentum."