Mariners out to disprove dismissive critics in ALM GF
Central Coast defender Storm Roux claims the Mariners have a chip on their shoulder and are eager to prove they won't be easily brushed aside by Melbourne City in the A-League Men grand final.
The mind games have already begun for the June 3 encounter which pits the Mariners and cash-rich City, who are bankrolled by extension by the oil-rich sheikhs of Abu Dhabi, against one another.
Central Coast operate on a much smaller budget and boss Nick Montgomery has already billed the decider as a clash of David against Goliath.
Montgomery was also irked by comments from City boss Rado Vidosic that suggested the Mariners would lose to Adelaide in the semi-final.
City have reached the last three grand finals and the odds are firmly stacked in their favour.
But Roux said the Mariners have made a habit of disproving doubters all season long.
"They've got huge backing and financial support that the Mariners don't have," Roux said.
"But at the end of the day it's 11 v 11 on the field and we have so much confidence from our recent results that going into the grand final we're fully confident.
"We've been written off all season by all the experts and pundits (who said) we wouldn't make the grand final, we wouldn't even make the finals ... so we've got a chip on our shoulder."
City haven't lost to the Mariners in their last six games and enter the grand final after dispatching of Sydney FC with ease last week.
Central Coast are expecting a big turnout of fans to travel south to Sydney for their first grand final since 2013.
Montgomery is hopeful that can give his men an edge as he heaped the pressure on the star-studded City side.
"I always say money doesn't bring you success, it's driven by results," Montgomery said.
"In a grand final it's about which team turns up on the day and you always need a little bit of luck.
"Our boys are fearless, all the pressure is on them, let's be honest."