Mariners strikers on notice as goalscoring woes drag on

Central Coast coach Mark Jackson has put his strikers on notice, saying he may need to bring in some new recruits if they don't start pulling their weight.

The Mariners' 2-0 loss to Perth Glory on Saturday night marked Central Coast's third straight defeat to start the season.

Not since Brisbane started the 2014-15 campaign with four straight losses has a team opened their title defence in such poor fashion.

The Mariners have scored just one goal across the opening three rounds.

It's in stark contrast to their 6-1 romp over Melbourne City in last season's grand final.

The departure to India of star striker Jason Cummings, who scored 20 goals last season, has left a huge hole in the Mariners' set-up.

Samuel Silvera, who scored eight goals last season, has since joined English club Middlesbrough, while forward Beni Nkololo (eight goals) went to Saudi Arabia.

Central defender Brian Kaltak is the only Mariners player to have scored a goal so far this season.

Striker Dylan Wenzel-Halls was taken off at half-time against Glory after failing to make a big impact, while substitute Alou Kuol looked good in patches but wasn't overly threatening.

"I'm trying to figure out who's going to come in and score goals, because no one's stepping up at the minute," Jackson said.

"Alou came on and we asked him to put yourself about in the second half. I thought he did that better.

"But I'm still waiting to see somebody step up and want to take that Jason Cummings mantle and go and score some goals, and we've got to see that quickly.

"And if not, we have to look to to get that into the team somehow."

Jackson was brutally honest when asked whether the answer to the team's goalscoring woes could be solved with the current players at his disposal.

Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson has challenged his attacking players to end the Mariners' goalscoring drought.

"Sitting in front of you now my answer to that is no, because we are not scoring goals and we're not looking a threat from that nine position," he said.

"Like I said, I always believe in players within the squat. I have full belief in them. I'm sure they're trying.

"But we need players to step up. I challenge every forward player in the squad - they should want to be the next one to come up and take that No.9 position.

"I've got to be honest, we're not seeing it at the minute."

If the Mariners' woes continue, it could open the door for some significant signings during the next transfer window.

Central Coast will be back in action next Sunday when they host Brisbane.

The Mariners will be without Colombian winger Angel Torres after he was red carded in the 2-0 loss to Perth for slapping an opponent on the back of the head.