Nick Fitzgerald is ready for anything
FOOTBALL: Try telling Central Coast Mariners attacker Nick Fitzgerald his team has a horror draw this week.
The Mariners will take on the might of FC Seoul at Bluetongue Stadium in an Asian Champions League clash tomorrow night, before backing up at home in an A-League elimination final against Adelaide United on Saturday night.
Fitzgerald, who scored in his team's 2-0 win against his former club Brisbane on Saturday night, said he thought having a busy week was a great way to prepare for the final.
"It will help take our minds off the finals game," he told APN.
"I feel great at this point of the season - we've got great coaching and fitness staff and that has kept me fit and raring to go."
The Mariners lost 2-0 to FC Seoul in late February, the team's fifth consecutive loss.
But its fortunes have changed drastically since then, stringing together five wins from seven A-League matches to finish the regular season in third place behind the Roar and Wanderers. Fitzgerald, a two-time championship winner with the Roar, and member of the Mariners team that won last year's grand final, credited some senior players for his team's turnaround.
"It was our experienced players like Hutch (captain John Hutchinson) and Monty (Nick Montgomery) that got us all together and gave us the confidence to tough out a pretty low period," Fitzgerald said.
He also said he was confident his team could test FC Seoul and then the Reds on the weekend, despite losses to both teams last time the Mariners faced them.
"Both teams are top quality outfits with some outstanding individual players, but after the weekend (beating the Roar) we don't fear anyone," Fitzgerald added.
In other Champions League games, Western Sydney will face Ulsan Hyundai in Korea tonight, with the Wanderers lucky to have the weekend off in the A-League.
Melbourne Victory will host last year's champions Guangzhou Evergrande at Etihad Stadium tonight, and will face arch rival Sydney FC in an A-League elimination final on Friday night.