Central Coast Mariners reveal up to three new recruits were likely to bolster the A-League club's ranks by next week

OPTIMISTIC: Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey has revealed up to three new recruits were coming to bolster the Mariners' ranks as his team struggles to climb off the bottom of the ladder. Picture: Richard Wainwright
OPTIMISTIC: Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey has revealed up to three new recruits were coming to bolster the Mariners' ranks as his team struggles to climb off the bottom of the ladder. Picture: Richard Wainwright

Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey has revealed the A-League club could be bolstered by at least three signings by the end of the transfer window next week.

Mulvey admitted that a player from the United Kingdom would be arriving on Tuesday, while up to two other defenders could be on the way as well.

Central Coast were set to play Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium yesterday (Wednesday) as The Lakes Mail went to press, so any chance of the new arrival playing in that game would have hinged on whether he had the required paperwork, and whether Mulvey was willing to risk him after a long flight.

The Mariners have recently been linked with former Turkish youth international Jem Karacan, who last played for Millwall in the Championship and spent a season playing in the Premier League for Reading in 2012-13.

"We've got a player coming over from the UK who'll be here Tuesday and that will bolster the ranks," Mulvey said after their 1-1 draw with Brisbane on Sunday.

"And then we're pretty close with one or two other defensive options."

The new faces would be welcome additions for the struggling Mariners, who are in desperate need of some talent in a bid to get off the bottom of the table.

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Midfielder Jake McGing was to have scans this week after suffering a leg injury against the Roar, while Tommy Oar was unavailable due to a hamstring issue.

The Mariners went close to securing back-to-backs for the first time in almost two years, however Mulvey insists they're no longer interested in moral victories.

He was upset with his defence conceding another set piece to the Roar, but urged his team to quickly recover for their F3 derby.

"I'm proud of them but we're getting to that stage now where we're hungry for the wins," Mulvey said.

"So we need to back up quickly for Wednesday and then obviously the weekend as well. It's two games coming up, you can't feel sorry for ourselves."

The Mariners took an early lead on Sunday night after Matt Millar's first A-League goal of his career, but it was cancelled out by a Luke De Vere header moments before half-time.

INJURED: Tommy Oar.

INJURED: Tommy Oar.

And while Central Coast dominated the second half with 11 shots to three, they failed to find the winner.

The two sides face off one more time on February 22, again in Gosford, at Central Coast Stadium.

Jacob Melling had two long-range opportunities in the space of two minutes, but one flashed over and the other was parried away by a diving Jamie Young.

The Roar also survived a VAR scare in the 72nd minute, however referee Matthew Conger was unable to determine if Daniel Bowles handled the ball in the box.

"This is my take on it: the referee didn't give it. Somebody in his ear said, 'You better have a look at this',"  Mulvey said.

"He's gone and had a look at it and then he's not gone and overruled himself. Who would overrule himself? 

'No, I saw it right the first time'."

Only some desperate defending from Brisbane prevented Central Coast claiming all three points and leapfrogging them on the ladder.

Buoyed by last week's drought-breaking win over Melbourne City, the Mariners started brightly and converted an electric build-up into the Millar opener.

After an incisive run down the left, Connor Pain's switch was overrun by Connor O'Toole and was played through for Millar by Jordan Murray.

And the Mariners' breakout star made no mistake with his one-on-one look at Jamie Young, sliding his shot past the gloveman for his first career goal.

The former NPL right-back could've had a second moments later from a similar position, but scuffed his chance just wide of the far post.

Brisbane weren't without their chances and almost levelled when a 28th-minute Adam Taggart shot cannoned off the crossbar and just in the field of play.

The opportunity appeared to have galvanised interim coach Darren Davies' side, who had five new faces from the team lapped last week by Melbourne Victory.

And their persistence was rewarded just before halftime when De Vere snuck in his header inside the left post off an Eric Bautheac corner.

Brisbane coach Darren Davies said he was pleased to see some fight in his team after the disappointment of last week and then conceding early again.

"If we take the positives from that, we've previously conceded goals in the second half in the last two games," Davies said post-game.

"But this evening the boys showed tremendous determination and we kept a clean sheet in the second half."

Central Coast and Brisbane face off one more time on February 22, again in Gosford.

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